A Semester in Barcelona

This blog entry was submitted by Tatiana Gonzalez, who studied abroad in Italy. Featured photo by Jorge Vidal on Unsplash

“A few months ago, I decided to embark on a journey that would completely launch me out of my comfort zone. This was such a big step and I was going to be completely alone in a new country, but luckily I knew the language. Barcelona is so beautiful in pictures and everyone told me how amazing their time there had been. Going abroad was a huge decision but luckily I had huge amounts of support from family and friends.

I finally left my cozy home in Houston and arrived in Barcelona! I met my roommates and other kids in my program and immediately felt that I was going to have a wonderful time here, meet so many new people, and see a lot of things. My roommate and I immediately started planning trips and looking into activities in the places that our program was taking us. In the short time I had abroad I traveled to places I never imagined being.

Going to school here was completely different than I thought. Classes were harder, classrooms were smaller, and professors were much more demanding. It was difficult to adjust to at first but it got easier as time went on. I learned so much about the political situation here in the region of Catalonia and was able to witness protests and demonstrations. Although this was unexpected, I was so grateful to be here while something so big was going on for everyone around me. The professors often spoke their opinions of this which caught me off guard because professors in the states are not usually this fast to voice their opinions. Not only was I learning about the subjects I was taking, but also learning about the world around me.

I’m super grateful to have been able to have this amazing opportunity and go to a university that makes it so easy to ‘take on my world’ and encourages this. Over the semester I have had beautiful memories, made lifelong friends, and grown as a person. This semester, I also lost a very important person to me, one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters of my study abroad journey, my best friend Kassie Braun. She was on her third study abroad trip and always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, try new things, and live my life to the fullest. I decided to live out the rest of my time here in her honor and be totally happy and carefree here.”

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