BARCELONA, SPAIN: 2017 Summer Study Abroad Program was started on July 9th to July 22nd, 2017. The 2 weeks study abroad program in Barcelona has been one of the greatest experiences in my lifetime. I didn’t expect it turned out to be so great as the first few days, we face a lot of problems in terms of cultural and language barrier. Through this class, I have learned beyond the theories from the book and I found out that the theories could actually be applied to our daily life. The useful skills I have learned through this class are how to manage a group of people and how to cope with cultural differences. Communication is the most critical skill while dealing with people and it is also one of the skills that I have learned through this journey.
This is my first time traveling to Europe and I find it very different than in the U.S. The biggest difference is culture. In the U.S, people tend to work hard to live a better life; in the Barcelona, people are living in the more relaxing lifestyle. On Sunday, most of the shops are close and the working hours on the normal days are lesser than in the U.S. On the weekend, people typically hang around the coffee shop, chit chatting with friends, exercising or bonding with friends and family. They tend to have more outdoor activities as compared to the Americans.
The first few days were tough for me- transportation, language barrier, people, and humid weather were dreadful. After the city hunt, I started to adapt to this city. Despite the fact that the weather was hot and humid and we walked 16 miles on that day, it was totally worth it. I get to know my team member better and we had fun exploring the places together. We cheered each other up during the city hunt and we made it eventually. We motivated each other whenever one of us was trying to give up and we crack some jokes during the journey to cheer each other. After the city hunt, not only did I have to know my team members better, I got to know myself better. I used to be too shy getting around with people, but now, I think making friends is not as hard as I thought it would be. To be honest, without the hands-on experience to deal with my teammate and live in Barcelona for 2 weeks, I wouldn’t have a better understanding of the things that we have learned in the class.
After few days of exploration to the city, I started getting used to everything in Barcelona. I enjoyed the weather, the food, the culture, the people, and also the architecture in Barcelona.
Being able to do a study aboard program in Barcelona has been a blessed event. After this program, I am now more knowledgeable about the European culture and I think it would be useful for my future career. Having a better understanding about the people, culture, and their business model. Besides that, teamwork is another useful skill that I have learned during the trip. Dealing with people is one of the most important skills that we should acquire at a young age, as it is exactly what we are going to face in the workforce. Although traveling is not easy, I would be happy to have a job that has a lot of travel. Exploring new things has always been a passion of mine.
Barcelona is one of the most amazing cities I have been and I truly enjoyed my stay. It is beyond my expectation and I would definitely come back to this city again. Through this study abroad program in Barcelona, I have learned a lot of practical skills that are not able to learned through the books or in the classroom. Barcelona is a city that has many best-kept secrets, and you will find them all when you live and study here.