Being in Barcelona, Spain for twelve weeks has been a crazy experience that I will not forget. I remember my first day traveling. I took a 13-hour flight during which my luggage was lost. I thought it was a sign that my first time abroad would not be a good experience. However, my study abroad program made me feel welcomed in Barcelona right away. Soon after, I knew I was going to have the time of my life.
Throughout the twelve weeks, I was able to build relationships with my professors, the program and my peers. With them, I visited many historic sites such as la Sagrada Família, Tibidabo and Palau de la Música Catalana. I learned so much about Barcelona over the course of the four months and I feel like there is so much more to explore. I plan to stay after the program and visit other cities in Spain as well as travel to other countries in Europe.
In this last blog journal, I'd like to offer a few words of advice. Travel as much as you can during college.
Not only will you be able to get credit for courses, but you will also get to experience hands-on learning in a different culture. If you do plan to travel, plan ahead with your study abroad advisor to make sure classes are set, there is a transfer of credits and your passport and visa paperwork are taken care of. Preparation before studying abroad is very important!
The next step is to talk with the study abroad program faculty constantly. Ask all your questions and share the concerns that you have. I believe that the more information you know beforehand, the better your experience will be. Going abroad can be lonely and scary at first thought, but over time you become adjusted and learn more about yourself.
In these twelve weeks, I gained many skills including interpersonal skills, learning how to think outside-the-box and about teamwork. I was also able to adapt and adjust to a new culture and improve my Spanish. With these skills, I am able to go back to the United States and apply them to new jobs or internships to advance my career.
The last piece of advice is to talk to as many people who have studied abroad as much as you can! It is always nice to have connections with people who have experienced what you want to experience and I am a person who is more than happy to help in any way that I can. Now, I say my farewell to you and end it with my favorite quote, “Se valiente. Tomar riesgos. Nada puede sustituir la experiencia.” In English, it is translated as “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute the experience.” Studying abroad was the best experience that I have done yet!
The College of Wooster 2017
Gates Millennium Scholar