On May 30th, 2023, ten college students set out on an adventure of a lifetime. Not one of us knew what to expect from this three week trip. I mean we were strangers going on a European adventure together. How could you know what to expect? But no one could’ve prepared us for
what actually happened.
When the trip began, I was so eager to go everywhere, see everything, explore. This was my first time traveling to Europe. The little girl inside of me was screaming with excitement. This was it. This was the start of a dream.
We had so many opportunities during this experience. The workshops we got to participate in were incredible. The mentors we were lucky enough to learn from were amazing. I got to try activities that I never thought I would get to. And all while being in the beautiful city of Barcelona.
The first workshop that we had was a social media workshop. We met up with our mentor, Patrick, and he showed us around the city. He gave us so much good information about starting social media and how to make progress with it. The best piece of advice given to us was to immerse ourselves into the city, the culture, and the people.
Another workshop we did was a graffiti workshop. We took a graffiti tour around the city and learned about the background and culture of the art. We even got to paint our very own graffiti wall. To be fair, we were definitely going to make our mark on Barcelona one way or another. I’m not an artsy person at all but this workshop helped me come out of my shell and show me that I can be creative in different ways.
One of my favorite activities that we had the chance to do was a cooking class. Now I am definitely not a cook at all, but if anyone ever asks me to bring a dish to a party, I know exactly
what I’m making. We learned how to make omelets, empanadas, and various tapas. They tasted
so good and even better since we made them ourselves. We were so influenced after the class, we went to the market the next day and made our own meals at the dorms.
One memory from the trip that I will never forget is our trip to Paris. We had a weekend off so we all decided to take a quick trip to the city of love. Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time is a moment that I frequently close my eyes and go back to. And if you were wondering, yes, we did ugly cry when the lights started to twinkle. It was an unbelievable experience that wouldn’t have been possible without this study abroad trip.
Like I mentioned before, there were ten of us on this trip. Ten people that came from different worlds, backgrounds, and journeys. We were all so different. How could this group be compatible with one another? It turns out that a group of people that are completely different in all aspects can become the dream team.
Kate, Bethany, Emily, Jaheim, Kinslee, Mason, Oliver, Trevor, and Calista. Those are the names of the nine people that I had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with. It’s hard for someone to imagine how close a group could get in just three weeks. Most people probably wouldn’t even remember everyone’s names. But this group was different. This group is special.
In three short weeks, ten college students became a family. We experienced the world together. We were creating precious memories without even knowing it. So yes, I learned so much information about my major, made connections, experienced another culture, but I also learned so much about myself, and I couldn’t have done that without my nine new friends who I will cherish forever. My biggest piece of advice that I would give to someone who is thinking about doing a study abroad trip is to just go for it. You never know what will come out of it, but I promise you, you will come back as a different person and a better version of yourself. I know I did.
Jordan Harris (BS Communication) spent the Summer 2023 studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain as part of a Communications department faculty led trip through API. Jordan had the following to say about studying abroad, “Just go for it. The best decision I’ve ever made was filling out the study abroad application. I’ve made memories that I will truly never forget. Your future self will thank you that you took that leap and tried something new. And you never know what could come out of it. You could turn out like me, wanting to move to your study abroad location after school. Just don’t let doubt hold you back.”
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