When you arrive in Barcelona you have the option to get a metro card called T-Jove, the card will give you access to unlimited rides on the metro/bus during three months. I got mine on my second week in Barcelona, around January 19th. I remember thinking that three months were so far away -- to be honest, at first I didn't reflect on the end of the program at all.
And I think that's something you should do too, avoid thinking about the end of the program, cliche or not you should live in the present -- because the future cannot be stopped, it becomes a reflection of the actions that you take in the present. Perhaps I'm getting too philosophical, but what I'm trying to say is that thinking too much about the future can prevent you from enjoying the present.
A semester abroad usually lasts for about four months, and if you are like me, throughout the semester your conception of time will constantly change. At first, four months seemed such a long period. I had all the time in the world to explore Barcelona, all the time in the world to take day trips, to plan, to sleep, to meet new people, to hang out with these new friends, etc. But no, time will fly by!! I'm sure you heard from study abroad past students the same warning, that time flys by. I think everybody says that because until you experience it until you see that you ran out of time, you may keep postponing, taking for granted that you are living probably one of the best seasons of your life.
And we, now former study abroad students, don't want you to miss out on anything. That's why I say, live in the present and make the most out of it! After the first weeks abroad, you will fall into a routine. And that's good because it will make you "a local" it will give you that sense of "I actually live in this new city, it's not a vacation." But don't let the fact that you are living in your abroad elected city prevent you from being a tourist. Yes, you should try to meet locals and immerse yourself in the new culture. But you should also visit a bunch of different places, sometimes cut yourself some slack and be touristy, visit the tourist places in your city, they are famous for a reason!
Don't postpone too much, don't think you have all the time in the world, live the present and plan the tomorrow. You don't want to regret missing out on anything, not knowing your city (the one you chose to study abroad at) because you live there and therefore you can explore some other day. It will come a time that you will not have some other day.
My metro card expired indicating that my time in Barcelona was running out; while my heart is full and thankful for all that I lived and experienced, now I can't stop reminiscing about my first weeks in Spain and everything that happened to me ever since then. This season of my life is about to be over, but the amazing memories and friends that I made abroad will be forever cherished. To you, it may only be the beginning so enjoy it, have fun, explore! Although we probably don't know each other, I'm so incredibly excited for you! I wish you good luck, and most of all, I hope you have the most amazing time of your life, live it to the fullest and embrace this unique opportunity that you've been given.
All the best, bea.
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<p>My name is Beatriz, but most people call me Bia/Bea. I'm an IES Abroad alumni from the Barcelona liberal arts and business program from the Spring 2017 term. Studying abroad had such a fantastic impact in my life that I decided to do it again, during my last semester of college!</p>