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Friday, July 8, 2016

Hannah Quinn's "Why Barcelona"

Why Barcelona?
Hannah Quinn

            As soon as I was presented the option to go to Barcelona, I had my heart set. It was an amazing price for an amazing place, but little did I know, I was signing up for so much more than just classes and a warm place. 
            First off, we were so fortunate to be able to stay with someone who was from Barcelona and who loved this place with their whole hearts. They were so excited about our adventures because they wanted us to experience everything this amazing place has to offer. Although there is a communication barrier, there was still a huge amount of love and respect between our hosts and us that you just can’t find in an apartment or a dorm room.  On top of this, the luxury of basically having a Spanish mom is such a huge plus with home cooked food and laundry/cleaning being done for you!
            We got right into exploring and adventures because there are just so many amazing things to do and see once you get to Barcelona. The history, the culture, the art, the people, everything is absolutely amazing and it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love right away. We were able to visit the most iconic places in Barcelona and learn SO much about them. I thoroughly enjoyed having tour guides because they will teach you so much more about the place you are exploring and give you a full dose of the history and love that went in to each structure. I learned so much about Barcelona’s history and it was an amazing experience. Seeing the influence of so many people present throughout the city is incredible and so eye opening. Once you start to learn about their history, you don’t want to stop. You get to see why things are the way they are because there is literally a reason for everything.
            The people in Barcelona are unbeatable. They are so kind and compassionate and so willing to help out the silly American. Each day I had a new (small) issue that I had to take care of that I couldn’t have figured out without the help of the people in Spain. Whether I was lost or just trying to order food, someone was always there to take time out of their day to help. I made many friends on this trip. The ladies from the grocery store down the street, the other students staying at my homestay and the amazing group of Purdue students I was fortunate enough to travel with.
            Our study abroad group created an bubble of love and respect for each other and we grew so close and created friendships that will last a lifetime. I knew zero people coming to Spain and left with 20 new best friends. We got lost together, we discovered amazing areas together, we even hiked up a mountain together and those are just some of the things that helped our friendships grow so strong and so quickly that we just can’t find on Purdue’s campus. Without this study abroad program, I would’ve never met some of my best friends.
            From day 1 to day 30, Barcelona was an incredible journey and it was nearly impossible to say goodbye to my new home away from home. Anyone who is thinking of study abroad in Barcelona, do it. You will not regret it at all and you will learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. 


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