Studying abroad was 100% the best experience of my life and I recommend it to anyone that can do it. The opportunity to get to experience a completely new and different culture for so long is so surreal. Not only the new culture but I got to see a lot of cool places and meet a lot of great people. Meeting all the different people was probably the best part including not only all the Europeans but the other students on the program.
Like the title states I went to Barcelona for my program and was there for six weeks. Barcelona couldn’t have been a more perfect choice of place to study abroad at. There is always something going on and there are so many cool places to see and things to do. My favorite place in Barcelona was Park Guell. It is a park designed by Gaudi that overlooks the entire city. Not only is the architecture amazing but there is mosaic tiles everywhere that are beautiful. Another absolutely breathtaking place and definitely the most incredible building I’ve ever seen was La Sagrada Familia cathedral. From the outside it is massive and every part of it has so much detail showing different biblical scenes such as the birth of Christ. Then when I finally got to the inside is when I was completely awestruck. It was the most beautiful stained glass and interior design I’ve ever seen. The third place in Barcelona that I would say is must-see is La Boqueria Marketplace. This is the most famous market in the city and it was awesome. There were a ton of different vendors and restaurants close by. All the restaurants close are good because they use the food from the market. For example, I had the best shrimp of my life at one of the restaurants actually inside the market.
Barcelona is where I was most of the time, but my group also made trips to Montpellier, France and Mallorca, which is an island off the coast of Spain. Montpellier was a beautiful but smaller city. It was one of the more calm and relaxing weekends we had while there. The same goes for Mallorca in that it was both beautiful and relaxing. We took a sunset boat ride in Mallorca and it was the most relaxed I’ve ever been. We also had good food and unlimited wine while on the water which just made it even better.
One of the reasons Barcelona was such a good choice for students studying abroad is that the nightlife is so good. Barcelona is a touristy city even for other Europeans as well and because of this I met so many cool people from all kinds of different places at the different bars and clubs we went to. Also because of it being touristy the language barrier was not bad at all.
I was on an ISA program and it was a great choice. They provided a nice apartment for us to live at and had some great excursions. My favorite excursion was going to a winery and Sitges, which is a beautiful beach town. We also got to go to a nice university where the courses weren’t too hard but were interesting and I learned a good amount from them.
Elijah Schmiesing-Joyce (BS Mechanical Engineering) spent summer 2022 interning abroad in Barcelona, Spain through ISA. Elijah had the following to say about studying abroad, “It was the best six weeks of my life.”
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