My actual study abroad is over. When that really hit me, I went through a grieving process. The first couple of day after arriving home were like a blur. I was emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted from the stress of trying to get home. After sleeping well and eating a lot of good food, the reality of what happened hit me. I realized that I wouldn’t be studying abroad, my semester living abroad was over. Continue reading
So the last week has been a whirlwind of craziness! I arrived back home to the USA on early Tuesday morning. I have been home for about four days practicing self-quarantine. While my study abroad experience in Spain has come to an end I am still lucky enough to be able to continue the courses I was taking online through my program.
Studying abroad has been one of the best opportunities that I have been able to experience in college! It was one of my goals for my college career. And I am grateful that Marymount has such an amazing study abroad office that helped me get here. Going to a new country to spend a semester learning is filled both opportunities and challenges. I get to learn about another place while fully immersed in the culture. I get an opportunity to further develop my understanding of a language. And I also get to meet new people and discover new adventures. However, studying abroad does not come without its own set of challenges. Continue reading
Throughout the past month I have spent all of my free time exploring and enjoying Barcelona. While many students travel across Europe on the weekends, my goal is to see as much of the city and its surrounding areas as possible while I am here. However, this past weekend, February 7-9, I went on my first trip outside the city since I arrived here. I went to Madrid, the capital city of Spain!
Knowing that the sun rises every morning is something that I definitely have taken for granted. I realized that the sun rising is a start of something new. While it rises in the same place every morning, it represents something more than that. A new day is not like yesterday; whatever happened then is done and a whole new experience is about to begin. Continue reading
This week I found myself struggling to write a blog post. It was not that I did not have anything to write about. I just did not have a topic that I felt I could write a lot about. I kept coming up with ideas but none of them seemed to get very far. Then it dawned on me that I was experiencing writer’s block. How could I have writer’s block? I have been here for less than a month and have only written two posts. I felt that I had so much to write about, but could not seem to get the right words on to paper. My deadline for turning this post in arrived and I decided I was just going to email my supervisor and explain my struggles. I asked for some suggestions as well. The response came back telling me not to worry and gave some topic suggestions. The one that jumped out at me was about goals. Goal setting for my time in Spain. This was perfect! I had previously just made mental goals but did not write any of them down. I took this as an opportunity to write down some of my goals and hold myself accountable to them. This breakthrough was what I was waiting for. I finally had something to write!
Walking down any street in Barcelona, there is bound to be a store for produce, a housewares store, a pharmacy, and most definitely a ham store. While this list of stores seems a little odd to non-Europeans, it says a lot about the Spanish culture. For one they LOVE ham. Iberian ham is a specialty of Spain and they eat it all the time and in nearly every way possible. Spaniards also walk everywhere so going from store to store to pick up items is just another fact of life. In the two weeks I have been here I have learned a lot about Spain and its people, as well as the culture. Continue reading
One of the very first things that I learn about travel, especially plane travel, is that unexpected things happen that we have no control over. The ability to understand that and be flexible is attributed to resiliency or being able to bounce back. The beginning of my study abroad experience was a large test of my resiliency. My journey to arriving in Barcelona was filled with a few unexpected events, like snow on the East coast of the Unites States.