Studying abroad helped me become very independent and outgoing. I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain during Summer 2022. I didn’t know anybody going abroad or even speak Spanish when I left for Spain. I was extremely nervous when I landed in Barcelona but once I met up with the other students studying through CIEE, I realized that nobody knew each other and it was all about being friendly and seeing who you clicked with. I stayed in an apartment with six other girls during my time in Barcelona and CIEE did an incredible job with assigning me with people that I could relate to. I immediately clicked with all of my roommates and we did everything together during our time in Spain. I was also able to travel to a couple different cities in Spain on the weekends with my roommates. We visited Girona, Seville, Granada, Ibiza, and Sitges! They were all great to explore and I felt that a weekend was the perfect amount of time for those cities.
Barcelona is such a beautiful city and there is so much to see. I did a 4 week program and I still did not have enough time to see everything that Barcelona has to offer. The first thing that stood out to me was that the lifestyle of Barcelonians was very calm and laid back. Work doesn’t start until around 10 am, they take 2-3 hour siestas in the middle of the day, most restaurants don’t open for dinner until 8 pm, bars are open until 2-3 am, and clubs are open until 6 am.
Barcelona is truly a city that never sleeps because there is always something to do, no matter what time of the day it is. Another thing that stood out to me was their food. Most of the time, their dinner plates don’t come in huge portions like what we get in America. The food was also more bland, in my opinion, but it was definitely something to try! Some of their local specialties included paella, tortilla, patatas bravas, and sangria, which were all delicious. One of my favorite parts was their croissants because they were always fresh, no matter where you got them from, the fact that they served ice cream with all of their pancakes and waffles for breakfast, and how good their pasta was! My favorite sites that I visited in Barcelona were the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, the MOCO art museum, the Laberint d’Horta, the Arc de Triomf, and Bunkers del Carmel.
I chose to study abroad through CIEE because their program wasn’t too expensive and they offered a month-long experience, which was what I was wanting. I took one class while in Spain which was from 10am-1pm on Mondays-Fridays. CIEE gave students complete freedom to do whatever we wanted but also provided support when needed. The main reason I chose Barcelona to study abroad was because ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to explore the beautiful city that the Cheetah Girls filmed their second movie in. After being in Barcelona for 4 weeks, I wish I would have had at least 2 more weeks to explore the city. I didn’t want to come home because the friendships, independence, and experiences I gained were so amazing. This experience has given me the courage and desire to travel abroad alone more after I graduate. If I could study abroad again, I would do it in a heartbeat. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to live in such a beautiful city for a month.
Karina Patel (BS Business Analytics ) spent Summer 2022 studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain through CIEE. Karina had the following to say about studying abroad, “If you wait for your friends to study abroad with you, you may just miss your chance. If you’re even thinking about studying abroad, just do it! You won’t regret it.“
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