My Comfort Blanket of School Friends Abroad

Noa Solomon
May 19, 2022

When choosing a place to go abroad, I was looking to go to a place that was out of the ordinary. I wanted to be thrown into an environment that was new to me with all new people, new food, culture, everything. I ended up deciding that Australia was the best suited abroad location for me to go to. I wanted to be far from home and everyone I knew and truly have a unique experience. As application time came closer and closer, Australia still hadn't opened up their borders that were locked down due to COVID-19. I had planned my whole life around going to Australia and now it was looking like it would never be a possibility. Now it was time to look into a plan B.

Since I originally wanted a place that was completely new with all new people, it may come as a surprise that Barcelona became my plan B, an incredible plan B option to have that I am forever grateful for, but a plan B nonetheless. Barcelona began to appeal to me because of my familiarity with the Spanish language, the stories I have heard from past people who had gone abroad, and it happened to be where every single one of my friends was going. What once deterred me from choosing a place to study abroad, became the thing that gravitated me most to studying in Barcelona.

I ended up living with two of my best friends that go to my school as well as three girls that I had never met before that go to the University of Michigan. This allowed me to have familiarity with me throughout my experience as well as have fresh faces that would eventually grow to be my best friends. We traveled the world together, me and the gang. Every trip that was intended to just be with my friends that I already knew, quickly turned into group trips with my new roommates, and we had the best time ever. Traveling brought us all closer than ever which allowed us to be even more close when we returned to homebase; Barcelona.

Outside of living arrangements, I would say there were about fifty people from my school that all studied in Barcelona, which is a lot! We dominated IES Abroad in numbers, as well as all of Barcelona it sometimes felt like. I wouldn’t want to change this factor of my time abroad for the world. It was so much fun seeing familiar faces around the city everywhere you went, and it helped me feel not so far away from home when in reality I was. I was also able to make of it what I wanted. I quickly became very close friends with people in my classes, friends that will last me even outside of study abroad. I was able to make dinner plans and study plans with people I didn’t know before aboard, which was one of my favorite parts of being abroad.

All in all, options are great. Whether you choose to study abroad with all of your friends from your university or decide to take a completely different route and study abroad somewhere where you don’t know a single person, you genuinely cannot go wrong. Each experience is beautiful, yet very different, and will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime and that's the only thing that really matters.

Noa Solomon

<p>Noa Solomon is an avid sports enthusiast, foodie and animal lover. She studies at the University of Wisconsin as a Journalism major where she excersises her passion for writing, as well as double minoring in sports communication and special education. She was born and raised a city girl, coming from the big apple itself, Manhattan, New York. She studied at the Professional Performing Arts School in Times Square as a drama major for 7 years and continues to participate in acting as much as she can. She was just featured in the 90s teen comedy film Generation Wrecks as Brittney Pratt this past September.</p>

2022 Spring
Home University:
University of Wisconsin - Madison
New York CIty, NY
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