Studying abroad in Barcelona changed my perspective on many things. As the only non-communications degree student on the trip, I found a passion for things I never knew existed. I met amazing people, both from Spain and from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, that I would never have known otherwise. People that I am still in touch with and grew to love over such a short time frame.
The most memorable part of the trip for me was going to Lomography, a film studio in the historic gothic quarter of Barcelona. I have a total of 206 photos on my phone and know absolutely nothing about taking pictures. Opposite of me, the communications majors have all taken classes specifically on how to do this. Looking at the creative process these other students took to capture something and create a story was an eye opening experience.
The majority of what I learn as a business management major is black and white. Things need to be optimized and calculated. It has to be methodical in this way. There is very little creativity. What surprised me was how methodically creative the process of taking photos is. Things could be both methodical and creative at the same time. Something I had not experienced before. I hope to apply this to my career in finding creative solutions. Solutions that combine both creativity and the more traditional style of doing things.
While going to Lomography was most memorable, my favorite was meeting so many new people. I did not know a single person when I landed. I had not talked to anyone. Throughout the trip I got extremely close to everyone in our small group of 10. Genuine friendship was not something I was expecting. These people are what made traveling so worthwhile and fun. Everyone had different perspectives and ideas that would contribute to and compliment each other. They have become my Barcelona family.
From taking weekend trips to Paris in our free time to working together on projects, we did everything together. I will never forget filming the main project we had for the class. It was open ended in order to give us as much creative freedom as possible and we ran with it. As a non-communication major I had to act. I knew nothing about the behind the scenes work nor did I have any of the software. It was my first time acting. I never knew I could have so much fun doing something new with a group of people I just met in a foreign city. It came out great and was a joy to work on.
I was hesitant to go on this study abroad because of the differences between the business and communications majors. I was not sure what I could gain besides seeing Barcelona. In the end I decided that fulfilling this bucket list item would be worth it no matter what but I was not expecting to learn as much as I did. Despite being so short, it was one of the most memorable periods of my life and I am so glad I did it.
Mason Eagle (BS Management) spent the Summer 2023 studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain as part of a Communications department faculty led trip through API. Mason had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad is much more than the places you go. It is the people you meet and the perspectives you gain. Remember to keep an open mind and try as many new things as possible.”
Share this post: