I cannot believe how quickly these six weeks flew by! It seems like just yesterday I was getting out of the cab into my new homestay. I'm so sad to leave this beautiful city because I feel like I have yet so much more to experience here. I think I'm going to miss these things the most:
1. Freedom to Travel to Countries with Ease. Being in Europe, you can take a train or fly in such a shorter amount of time and cheaper to new countries compared to the US. During my six weeks here, I traveled to 4 cities in Spain, Istanbul, Brussels, Budapest, Porto, Lisbon, and Amsterdam. I loved taking weekend trips to these new places and it was so convenient rather than sitting on a plane for over 8 hours to fly somewhere new. I seriously would travel for the rest of my life if I could!
2. Brunchelona/Brunch&Cake. My favorite restaurant in all of Barcelona hands down. I am a really big breakfast lover so when I discovered this place, I was fanatic. I love everything about this place from their cozy decorations to every single item on their menu. I'm so sad I found out about this place so late into my stay here because I would go there everyday if I could. They put so much work into their dish that it makes it even more delicious than it already is.
3. Cafe con Leche. This was my go-to drink of choice every morning. Meaning coffee with milk in Spanish, I enjoyed every sip of this delicious drink and don't know what I'm going to do without my daily fix! I also loved the situations that this drink brought me into. The coffee culture here is really different and they take a lot of time to converse and socialize with people during their meals. I made new friends and admired a lot of cool sceneries with this drink.
4. Landscape of Barcelona. My favorite things in the world are the sea and the mountain and Barcelona has both of them. I'm going to miss the ease of just taking a metro stop to get to the beach or Montjuic and admiring the view from above. It truly felt like every street corner I turned, I was entering a whole other world. The parks here are also incredible. Park Guell and Parque de la Ciudatella are my favorites. I could spend a lifetime there reading a book! There are endless things to discover in this city and I was truly amazed by something new every day.
5. Finally, my homestay. I'm going to miss this place the most. Armand and Maria Dolors were my host parents and I think they really made my experience in Barcelona spectacular because not only did I get to learn a lot from them, I got to really practice my Spanish because this was the only way we could communicate. Maria Dolors also made the best authentic Spanish food I ever had and in my opinion, it beat all the restaurants I went to in Barcelona! I also lived with two roommates, Hannah and Claire, who are from Texas and I am so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to live with them. We really learned a lot from each other and I think these four people made this homestay a home away from home for me.
I completely loved my experience here in Barcelona and will ravel about this program to everyone when I get home. I really learned a lot about the city and its dynamic, and even got to experience living in its lifestyle for an entire six weeks. There is so much I have left to explore in this amazing city and I can't wait to return one day!
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<p>I am a junior studying at the University of Illinois and am majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology, in hopes of attending dental school one day. During my free time, I enjoy painting, listening to music, and running. I love to travel and I'm especially looking forward to studying abroad this summer in Barcelona. I also love to take pictures because it captures a great experience that you can cherish for a lifetime.</p>