I've Been Waiting For This

Sonal Gupta
June 2, 2016


You wouldn’t believe how nervous I was to get on the plane at Newark to leave everything behind for two months and come to Barcelona for an internship. But I’m so glad I did it. Ever since I was in third grade and my family and I visited my sister while she studied abroad in Paris, I knew I wanted that to be part of my college experience. As I grow older, get better at Spanish and realize how much I want to make an impact on the world, I’ve realized that living abroad for a couple years would be a dream come true – so why not test it out now? For the next two months I’ll be living in Barcelona, completing a finance internship with a healthcare tech startup called Uniq Techrapy. The main reason I’m doing this? To completely push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m proud of who I am and I take pride in my accomplishments thus far in life, but I have to admit I’ve been somewhat timid with my decisions in the past. I go to the Ohio State University and I love being a Buckeye (you know I’m not lying because I give tours twice a week convincing people that it’s the best college choice for them), but it’s only an hour away from home and I managed to go there with some of my best friends in the entire world – so naturally, I always have had people to lean on when I need it. I was born and raised in Dayton, OH, having the same house and going to school with the same people for the first 18 years of my life, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. So, it’s time for me to do something completely different and uncomfortable and to really test myself. I’m half way done with college, and on paper I’m a Finance major with minors in Spanish and International Economic Development who’s heavily involved on campus and loves to ‘work hard, play hard.’ I even know that I want to make an impact and go into consulting after I graduate and eventually get a masters, but I am still constantly learning more about myself and what I want out of life. I don’t expect these two months to answer all my lingering questions, but I know that this summer will be a life changing experience for me.

When I arrived in Barcelona, I made it to my apartment building and walked up to the second floor, third door, just like IES assigned me to. Little did I know, here in Barcelona the system of numbering the floors of a building are different – they start with 0 and go up! But not even just that, some places (including my building) go from 0 to E for “entresuelo” and then 1, 2, etc… so there I was knocking on all the wrong doors for about 20 minutes…oops. I met Ivet, who is my assigned IES cultural companion, and she actually lives with us – she’s awesome and is the definition of #goals if I ever live here…plus all of my roommates are awesome. Catherine, Clare, and Irais have all made living here so much fun so far and have become great friends thanks to sleepless nights due to jet lag and naturally weird conversations you have when you live with someone else. Overall, the transition here was pretty seamless thanks to IES. The day after I got here, we had orientation, and the day after that I started my internship! More to come up about Uniq Techrapy in my next post, I know you’re dying to know about the wonderful world of being a finance intern.


Hoy en día, viajar es una necesidad para tener la experiencia del mundo entero. Bastante trabajar y tener relaciones cercas no funciona para mi, siempre quería viajar y ver lugares muy diferentes que los que ya conozco. Mi familia siempre viajaba, pero es diferente cuando viajas solamente, y esto es que quería hace ~12 años, cuando mi familia y yo visitamos mi hermana durante tu semestre en Paris. Para mi, fue imperativo que mi experiencia extranjera sea única y bastante larga para sumergir en la cultura. Estos dos meses sean para hacer esto, y para ver si podría vivir aquí o algo similar en el futuro. Eso es porque quería hacer prácticas aquí y no solamente tomar clases, y también es porque quería venir aquí sola, sin alguien que ya conozco. Cuando llegué a mi apartamento, no sabía que los pisos aquí han asignados números con un sistema diferente de los Estados Unidos. Entonces, estaba golpeando a la puerta incorrecta para cinco minutos antes de me daba cuenta que no fue el segundo piso – fue el entresuelo. Esto es un ejemplo de los numerosos diferentes de cosas día a día aquí en Barcelona comparada a los EEUU. Cada edificio aquí es hermosa – la arquitectura en Barcelona es variada pero unificado, y es muy interesante. Más que los Estados Unidos, aquí el tiempo pasa más fácil porque el ambiente es más relajado que es en compañías grandes en los Estados Unidos. En conclusión, me gusta mucho Barcelona ahora, y aunque me toma algunas días para ajustar a la desplaza del tiempo, me encanta el estilo de vida aquí. Este blog es para mis recuerdos de dos meses en Barcelona, trabajando con Uniq Techrapy y viviendo en una cultura nueva, practicando mi español. Ha visitada Barcelona una vez, pero ese tiempo va a ser muy diferente – soy independiente y tengo antojo para experiencias que me dicen más sobre el mundo y mis sueños y deseos.

Lesson #1:   

Un café = a shot of espresso…trying to get used to it

Café con leche = one delicious cup of coffee…oh and it’s acceptable to use the two bags of sugar they give you every time you order it  

To go = para llevar

…As you can see, I get “un café con leche para llevar” every morning on my way to work.

Oh, and even though I'm proficient in Spanish, I still can't read all the signs because they're in Catalán, the dialect here. Everyone says it's similar enough to understand if you know Spanish...I'm here to tell you, it's not. But everyone still speaks Spanish so they'll know what you're saying, no worries. 

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Sonal Gupta

<p>Travel enthusiast, creative thinker, and lover of all people and food. I&#39;m a hard working business student, environmental supporter, and music lover looking to creative positive change for the world. Sharing my experiences through an 8-week journey in Barcelona, Spain through IES Abroad as I work for an innovative, socially impactful startup, take classes, learn the dialect, and immerse myself in the Spanish culture.</p>

2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
Home University:
Ohio State University, The
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