The Unknown of Abroad

Torin Anderson
August 28, 2016

My name is Torin Anderson and I am a student at Gustavus Adolphus College. I enjoy writing, but only if it is about something that interests me. So the goal is to have some interesting experiences abroad to make this blog not be a complete waste of time for readers (no promises though).  


Sitting here in my room in suburban Minnesota, it is hard to even begin to think about an environment like Barcelona. When I tell people that I’m studying in Barcelona, they always come back with one of the two responses:


“That’s cool! I know someone who went there too. They said it was such a beautiful city with some amazing architecture!”




“Yeah man I have a buddy that stayed there for a couple days. He said the clubs were pretty crazy.”



Needless to say, these didn’t provide me with much that I couldn’t find by googling the city. I’m only a couple days away from getting on the plane, and I am facing an overwhelming amount of unanswered questions.


·      What will it be like to live in a city with millions of people?

·      Are people going to be uncomfortable around me because I am American?

·      What will my homestay be like?

·      How will I change?


In this day and age, it is so easy for people to look up something on the Internet and then feel as if they know all they need to know. I tried this. I spent countless hours researching the city of Barcelona. Searching anything from the most popular clubs, to the styles of clothing the natives wear. There were even times when I used Google street view to simulate my walk to class. I was finding so much information that Barcelona no longer felt foreign to me.


This information was great, and it comforted me. However, soon I began to realize that it is impossible to truly know a city without actually being there. People have their own unique perceptions, and no matter how many posts I read online, I was unable to make my own conclusion.


All those bulleted questions can be answered. They are so simple right? Well yes, and no. These are the kinds of questions that can only be answered through experience. I have to be the one to answer them, and that frustrates me beyond words. Humans fear the unknown. It is in our nature, and I am no match for the force of human nature. Still, I am so excited for this experience. I find it hard to express the excitement now, because I am currently overwhelmed with packing and other preparations, but I know in my heart that I am about to experience something amazing. 


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Torin Anderson

<p>My name is Torin Anderson and I am a junior English major at Gustavus Adolphus College. I am involved in hockey and ultimate frisbee as well as the Gustavus Choir. Aside from making various painful puns, I enjoy writing just about anything, and will take any excuse to travel.</p>

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