My opportunity to study abroad this summer was amazing. During my six weeks in Barcelona, Spain I got to experience the culture to the fullest degree. Through studying abroad I got to appreciate the differences in day-to-day life from my own in America. The most important thing I gained was new friendships I could not have made if I had stayed home all summer.
Upon my arrival to Barcelona I quickly realized how friendly and welcoming all of the students were. One of the biggest differences I observed was the outgoing-ness and inclusiveness of the European people versus the cliques in American schools. Spanish culture seemed much more laid back than American culture as well which was relaxing; it was easier to enjoy a day of work there contrary to the dread I feel during the weekdays back home.
I would recommend studying abroad in Barcelona because of how easy it is to meet people. It is a big tourist city making it very diverse and a chance to meet a ton of different people from all over the world. Barcelona is beautiful as well, with both beaches and mountains to explore. Most of my days were spent with friends relaxing on the beach or climbing up mountains to sight-see. Barcelona has many festivals around summer time as well.
I chose to study through EF because I mainly wanted to just focus on learning Spanish during my experience which is exactly what they teach. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested in living in a different culture. The food was amazing as well. Another reason to travel to Barcelona for a first time studying abroad is because the culture is not too different than American culture, so one would not experience too much culture shock if it is their first time traveling alone. Most Spanish people are bilingual as well so it is not a problem if one is not fluent. The public transportation was very good in Barcelona, making it easy to get around to see many sights.
I stayed in a host family there which made it a very interesting experience. The food was good but very different than what I am used to. The houses were designed a lot different than most modern houses are in Tennessee. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I am beyond grateful to have gone. I would encourage anyone to go out of their comfort zone to travel.
Rowan Green is majoring in Humanities (International Studies) . She spent summer, 2018 studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain through EF Language. Rowan had the following to say about her time abroad, “Studying abroad is the best thing you can do for your mind. It allows you to escape the repetitive daily schedule and experience life to a new level.”
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