Reflecting on Barcelona by Libby Feruck

Unfortunately, this reflection on my study abroad experience came a bit sooner than it should have. On March 15, 2020, I flew home to Atlanta, GA because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Even though my time in Barcelona was cut short, I would not trade it for anything. My study abroad experience was unlike anything I have ever done before. Living in Barcelona was the most amazing two and a half months of my life because of the experiences I had and the memories I made. Before going abroad, I set some goals for myself so that I would fully experience everything the program had to offer. I became more independent, stepped out of my comfort zone, and even learned some Spanish. I pushed myself to try new things and said the word “yes” more than “no.” I developed a better sense of self since going abroad and I will carry that with me for the rest of my life. My identity was strengthened by going abroad by meeting new people, visiting new places, and allowing myself access to every possibility.

Coming back to America was difficult because there was so much more that I wanted to do in Europe. I can take home everything that I learned abroad and put it into use throughout my daily life. A piece of advice I would give to anyone considering studying abroad is to absolutely do it. Studying abroad has shown me different parts of the world, cultures, people, and experiences that I would have never had access to in the United States. My perspective on the world completely changed and I realized how small I am in relation to it. It is so amazing to truly understand the vastness and ever-changing aspects of the world. This experience will further me in all parts of my future including my education, profession, social life, and self-awareness. As a rising senior, I do not think I will have another opportunity to study abroad but I am positive I will return to Europe sooner than later. Traveling and experiencing new things is the greatest gift I could have ever received from studying abroad. I am so thankful for my study abroad experience and will hold the memories with me for the rest of my life.

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