At the beginning of the year, I received an e-mail about a study abroad trip in Barcelona, Spain. It immediately grabbed my attention and interest. I remember I called my mom and asked her opinion. She liked the idea, but was conflicted, I was as well. I was very indecisive and could not make up my mind, but I filled out the application anyways. I was still hesitant up until about three weeks until I left. I was so stressed at the airport; I was starting to think it was a bad idea. However, as soon as we got to the Beyoo Marina I felt so much better.
When we got there, we had a welcome meeting, and then we went on a walking tour of what was around us. It was my first time in Barcelona, but I felt so comfortable. My favorite places I got to see were Camp Nou, Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and Mount Tibidabo. I visited Camp Nou with one person for an assignment and we both were looking forward to this the whole trip. We are both big soccer fans, so it was very exciting. Even though we could not go in due to remodeling, we were just grateful to be able to see it. We went inside of the team merchandise store, and I was blown away. It was the biggest merchandise store I have ever seen. It was three stories, and even had a huge screen for shoppers to watch the game.
The Sagrada Familia was beautiful. It was amazing to see all the interesting architecture and learn the history behind it. Park Güell was also very interesting to me. It was a very long, rough walk up a hill, but it was all worth it. To make it better, my favorite childhood movie, “The Cheetah Girls,” was filmed there. Not only the view of the city, but the architecture, colors, and mosaics were insanely beautiful.
Mount Tibidabo, in my opinion, is must-see. We took the metro, and then got on a sky lift to get to the top. There was a ferris wheel and a restaurant, as well as a cathedral. The cathedral was amazing, it looked like a castle, with a huge statue of Jesus at the very top point. Anyone can go inside, and tickets to go to the top are five euros. We decided to get tickets. There were multiple different levels, and they were shaped in a circle, so we got to see the city from many different angles and distances. I did not want to leave.
We also had plenty of time to explore the whole city on our own and shop around. There is a shopping mall called “Glories,” where we did our shopping and got our groceries from. We got groceries from a market that had absolutely everything. They had items from makeup all the way to televisions. They also had a very wide range of food options. Personally, I thought it was better than American markets.
I also thought the locals in Barcelona were extremely nice. I did not have a single bad encounter. Since studying abroad, I have basically changed my whole career path. I even got a tattoo of the Panot. I learned so much and I grew as a person. I am so happy I decided to go on this trip, I do not regret anything. It was the best opportunity of my life and I will definitely be back someday.
Calista Bellar (BS Communication) spent the Summer 2023 studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain as part of a Communications department faculty led trip through API. Calista had the following to say about studying abroad, “Do not be scared, or nervous, or intimidated. I was at first, too, but I do not regret a thing. Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I highly recommend doing it if given the chance. It can be a life-changing decision, it was for me.”
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