As a senior in high school deciding where to apply for my undergraduate education, I scrutinized the study abroad offerings more than I did the housing options or meal plans. The study abroad experience has always been part of my college vision and five months later, I am beyond thrilled I was able to call Barcelona home during my semester abroad.
My interest in Spanish culture began when I chose to study the language in middle school. I continued my language learning throughout high school and finished the Spanish program At GW, I took Spanish courses each semester which led to pursuing a Spanish minor and the realization that experiencing a culture first-hand was going to be the best way to get an authentic learning experience.
Studying in the IES Abroad Barcelona Advanced Spanish Studies program was an education not only in academics, but in life. Going to school in the bustling city of DC had prepared me to reach beyond my borders and savor Spanish culture from the inside. No American classroom could duplicate the breadth of experiences gained from living in a Spanish home and studying Spanish alongside students from around the world. I became good friends with a Peruvian in my Creative Writing class, found a best friend and future bridesmaid in my Swiss roommate, the perfect travel buddy from California, and so many other amazing individuals that made my study abroad experience unforgettable.
I am confident that my semester in Barcelona was the pinnacle of my college experience. It was here that I meshed my Spanish language learning with my passion for the culture and, in a short while, will be able to go out into the global world to pursue my dreams in the world of international affairs and Spanish.
I am forever thankful for this adventure and ability to experience a different culture in order to expand my capacity to learn and interpret information in a different way. Having had the opportunity to learn about Spanish culture in its birthplace was the peak of my learning experience, and a semester I will soon not forget. Ya te extraño, Barcelona!