Senior says studying abroad changed her life

by Alyssa Whitham, Advertising Manager

Senior Madeline Gude is a double major in Spanish and music with a minor in secondary education. 

Gude is from Sheldon, Iowa.  Her sister, Rosa, graduated from Simpson in 2019. Gude had the opportunity to visit Simpson multiple times a semester and get familiar with the campus and its students. Some of her sister’s friends became her friends when she got into the music department. 

“The campus is gorgeous, it’s small and that itself just became really familiar and comfortable. And it was foreign since I live four hours away,” Gude said. 

Gude is heavily involved on campus. She is the President of Tri Delta, involved in the choir, orchestra, and band as a clarinetist, an education mentor, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Mu Sigma Kappa – an honorary music fraternity. Gude has a work-study in the music office, and also plays in a band for a church in Truro, Iowa, and Saturday night mass at Smith Chapel. 

Some of Gude’s favorite memories are going to Washington, D.C., in April 2019 with the Chamber Singers. She was the only first year on the trip and felt honored to be around more experienced singers. Her favorite part of the trip was somehow leaving former Simpson student Jack Strub in a Waffle House and finding out miles away that he wasn’t in the van. 

They also traveled to Italy a month later, where Gude had some fantastic experiences and got to see the Vatican. 

Gude was also able to travel to Mexico this past summer and experience the culture, practice her Spanish communication skills and so much more. 

“It changed my life. Besides learning my communication abilities, I learned about myself. I met wonderful people that have a very open mind and peaceful, optimistic outlook on life,” Gude said. 

Gude is learning French now because Mexico taught her to get out of her comfort zone and try new things. She highly recommends traveling and studying abroad. 

“Go explore, be spontaneous and just have faith in yourself; be confident in yourself,” Gude said. 

After Gude graduates, she plans on teaching Spanish and assisting whatever school she is employed by with music lessons, choirs, concerts or anything to continue her passion for music. She has also thought about getting involved with the local band or orchestra and using her talents there. After her teaching career, her backup is to work for a non-profit, using her Spanish skills by being a translator or anything else the non-profit may need.