As I am sitting here trying to wrap my head around how I get to spend the summer in Barcelona, I am crossing off tasks on my mental checklist of things I need to do pre-departure. Leaving in three days though does give me some time to get all of them done as opposed to the panic packing that happens 24 hours beforehand, which I could end up doing. With the time left I have at home in California I am going to take advantage of eating out at all my favorite restaurants with my friends and taking my dog on as many walks as possible before my summer abroad.
Studying abroad was always a goal of mine and I had envisioned going to Spain to enhance my Spanish skills as I am a Spanish minor and believe that getting experience outside of the classroom is key to fully understanding a foreign language. Aside from a hands-on learning experience, I was always intrigued by the idea of studying in Spain because of the beautiful beaches, great weather, and how each part of Spain has its own unique culture. Although I was planning on going to Spain for a full semester, the world had other plans with COVID putting life on hold. However, I am still grateful for this opportunity to spend my summer practicing my Spanish skills and exploring Barcelona because I have heard of all the amazing things that this city and Spain itself has to offer. COVID has not fully gone away, yet signs of progress are happening. This will create a unique experience for me, being one of the first students to study abroad since March 2020. It has added some additional challenges pre-departure such as making sure you have every form printed but also just knowing that it is there. Since rules are different in Spain than in the U.S. I think there is going to be a bit of a transition period adjusting to the different rules and recognizing that they might change more than here in the U.S. I am here to give you my opinion on how COVID will shape my experience abroad but also how I am still able to have fun and explore a new city that provides a variety of new experiences.
But for now, I have to get my suitcase out of my closet and figure out which clothes I really need to pack and which ones I can leave at home. Fingers crossed I end up traveling with a lighter suitcase because I have heard of all the great shopping you can do in Barcelona and cannot wait to stop by those shops. Now I really have to get to packing up my suitcase. What you can expect from me throughout my time in Spain is that I will be keeping note of the best places to eat out, spending time with new friends, finding hidden gems in the city, and will be sharing all of that with you!
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<p>Hey! My name is Ellie Carter, I am a senior in college studying media advertising and minoring in political science and Spanish at Indiana University. I am studying abroad on the Barcelona Summer - Language and Area Studies - Summer 2021 and am looking forward to all that I get to share with you about my time here. In my free time, I love cooking, spending time with my friends, and running. I am excited to explore the city through food and find hidden gems in Barcelona as well as other Spanish cities. I am excited to share my experience with you as a navigate studying abroad in Spain!</p>