1 day, 11 hours, 58 minutes and 32 seconds until I leave for Spain, but who's counting?

Catie Snowden
August 31, 2018

Before I pour my heart out to you, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Catie Snowden and I am a senior at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. I will be completing the full-time internship program in Barcelona, Spain where I will split my time between being a research intern at a university hospital and a teaching assistant at a school.

In preparation for my trip, I have spent a fair amount of time reflecting on how I got to the position of preparing to spend three months working in Barcelona, Spain. Even though I am leaving in less than two days I still have to pinch myself to remind myself that this is happening. I believe that the best way to explain how I got in this position is to explain why I wanted to study aboard.

I love answering the question, “Why do you want to study abroad?”. I remember distinctly one person asking me what classes I will be taking in the fall. I responded that I am applying for an internship in Barcelona. No joke, this person said, “Why would you want to do that? You will miss football season.” I got many other responses to my plans for the fall asking why I didn’t want to stay at NC State during my last year of college. “Won’t you miss your friends?” “Don’t you want to spread out your classes to make senior year easier?” My answer to all these questions was yes. I will miss my friends. Yes, I will miss the ritualistic experience of tailgating every Saturday. And yes, it would be nice to spread my 12 credits over two semesters. But somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I wanted something more. I want to expand what my senior year can be. I want an experience that will give me direction and passion in my life. I love my school and I owe NC State credit for many great courses and memories, but I’m ready for something bigger. I need something bigger. I need an internship abroad.

Picture this. It’s March 2018, it’s second semester of my Junior year. All of my friends and everyone I talk to seem to have their lives figured out. They know what career paths they are on and have a nice tidy plan on how to get there. I, on the other hand, feel that I have nothing. I have no idea what I want to do and I have no plan on how to figure it out. Not a great place to be, and trust me it did not feel great to be Catie. I turned this angst into curiosity.

I asked the question, “What makes me me?”

My answer: I like helping people… Great! A psychology major and helping people… A therapist!

Next question: How do I know if I would like being a therapist?

Answer: How about an internship with a therapist…(20 emails and one interview later) I find myself a summer intern with a local therapist able to pick her brain and ask her about her experience and practice.

Problem: That’s only two days a week, so how else can I use my summer to help people?

Solution: After a few internet searches and one nerve-wracking career fair, I find the Autism Society of NC. I start working with the Autism society and connect to my passion of helping people through providing direct service.

Flash forward a couple months and I am interviewing for an internship in Barcelona for the fall. I am awestruck by the options for psychology majors – to do research and to be a teaching assistant. Can you imagine?! Research will allow me to grow my curiosity and determine if a PhD is something I want to work towards. Being a teacher will allow me to explore teaching in a foreign country, something that I have fantasized about. It amazes me to look back and think I’ve gone from zero options to four possible career paths and four experiences to explore them.

Five months ago I went out into the world as a scared, timid girl who believed that she had no future and now I’ll be flying to Barcelona in TWO DAYS as a confident, self-assured woman who is on a mission to change the world. Study abroad signifies freedom, discovery, and excitement. Barcelona, ready or not, here I come!

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Catie Snowden

<p>I'm a rising Senior at North Carolina State University (Raleigh) studying Psychology with a Spanish Minor. When not in the library, I can be found in the gym, on a beach, or hanging in some tree reading. I start most of my sentences with "so I was listening to a podcast and..."&nbsp;and believe podcasts are the perfect way to learn without the stress of being in a classroom or reading a book. I love to travel and be out of my comfort zone, which explains why you're reading about my experiences in Barcelona.</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
North Carolina State University
Kiawah Island, SC
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