I definitely do not want to forget:
1. What made me laugh out loud: Yves running into the ocean like a scene from Baywatch….but completely nude. LOL.
2. What brought tears to my eyes: How open and accepting all of my group members are and just how much they’ve shown to care about me.
3. My greatest personal insight: Realizing how the metros are so well interconnected and how to get from one end of the city to another.
4. My biggest cultural gaffe: The siesta and how incredibly inconvenient it is to not be able to go grocery shopping or do just about anything in Spain from 2-6pm.
5. My biggest cultural success: Immersing myself into the very open, free culture at the nude beach…and joining Yves.
The five things that I missed the most about the home since I have been abroad are:
- Seeing my family and friends on a normal basis.
- The convenience of being able to buy groceries or food whenever I want, even late into the night.
- Free tap water.
- Air conditioning.
Once I return home form overseas the five things I believe I will miss the least about living abroad are:
- Stores closing from essentially 1pm-6pm. Very little can be done in this block of time and for me it is incredibly inconvenient.
- Not having air-conditioning.
- No late night snacks or food places being open past 11pm.
- Catalan. Even as a Spanish speaker, Catalan was very confusing at times.
- Tall buildings and sky scrapers – most buildings in Barcelona are not tall.
The five things I believe I will miss the most from abroad once I have returned home are:
- Being around people all the time – my roommates, friends, those who’ve become family to me.
- The insanely easy to use and efficient metro – Chicago is decades behind.
- Paella & Sangria – delicious.
- The sense of community among the people where everyone watches out for each other.
- The sunny days with near perfect weather.
One thing I learned that I will definitely use in my future courses: Being able to communicate openly and efficiently with group members when there’s a task at hand.
2 professional/academic skills I developed during the program that will help me in my courses: Being able to communicate openly and efficiently with group members when there’s a task at hand. Also having the ability to step down as a leader and let other people coordinate and take over leading tasks.
One thing I have never done in my courses before Study Abroad, but I will do next semester: Question the world around me and why it is the way that it is. The times of simply accepting things for what they are “just because” are over.
Study Abroad has affected my academic career by teaching me to better interpret and understand research and the research process. Data collection is more than simply numbers and charts. So because this program was heavily oriented toward photography, I can better understand the wide spectrum of research and all of its possibilities.