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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why Study Abroad in Barcelona - EC

Why Study Abroad in Barcelona?
Ellen Kay

I can’t think of any reason to not study abroad. I made the decision to study abroad when I realized I had absolutely nothing to lose from the experience. If anything I have gained so much more than I had ever anticipated. Experiencing a different country has helped me to view other cultures in a way that avoids assumptions and rather has challenged me to understand why and how their culture is different/the same as mine. You get to know new art, food, traditions, history, and experience the culture in a way you will never get in a classroom. (plus there is a beach)

 As a communications major, the benefits of recognizing differences between the cultures will help me to better reach my future audiences and only make me better at what I wish to do with my future. For now and in the future, I feel that studying in Spain has taught me a lot about how things are and more importantly I have been able to understand why they are that way, this is a skill that will follow me and will be put to use in many different ways. There is a lot to be learned and communicating in a different culture and building relationships is a difficult yet rewarding experience. One of the most wonderful parts of the program is that though it is very much an independent experience, you’re not in it alone. You can take the time to get to know the members in your group and while trying to embrace and experience a new culture, there are bound to be events that will speed up the process of establishing a friendship with one another. While studying in Spain, there is so much more to learn than the course materials we studied in class. There is a lot to learn about your self as well. There are stressful situations, communication issues that don’t only include the language barrier, and downright a lot of confusion. There is a certain amount of tolerance and adaptability you either will have or learn. All of these skills are life skills you will need some day and help you in the long run for future successes.  I believe that there is no better time to study abroad than in your college years. If I were any younger, I’m not sure I would have appreciated the experience nearly as much. 

In Spain, there is a sense of relaxation in the culture. Leisure and indulgence are a way of life, this is my favorite part of Barcelona specifically because it has allowed me to grow the most. This way of life is much different from the United States and was quite a shock to get used to. Life seemed to be in so much less of a hurry. In the states, there is constant pressure for creating success in the future. We are so rarely worried about the “now,” we sometimes can get so caught up in worrying about what’s to come instead of enjoying life. This is something that I’ve learned from Spain and will always be able to take away with me. I found this to be a very rewarding mind-set because when in college so much stress and anxiety stems from worrying about our future. Being able to immerse myself in their celebrations like Sant Joan and live in the moment has been so rewarding to me, I can put my phone down, enjoy a conversation, and really embrace the moment. I am very thankful to have had this experience and to have grown so much from it. 

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