Courtney Ban

Courtney’s Posts

What’s your major?

  • Kinesiology (Concentration in Exercise Science and Health Promotion)

What are your career goals?

  • I want to be physical therapist, but I am not sure what special population I want to work with yet.  I also would love to obtain a wide variety of certifications in the fitness industry because I like to keep up with current exercise trends, as long as they are reasonable.

What made you choose this study abroad course?

  • I was drawn to the program because it is unlike most study abroad programs out there.  This program fits me really well because of the focus on photography, interviewing, and experiencing a foreign culture outside of the conventional classroom setting.  I also was interested in the creative license that we have with our personal research topics because I have alternative ideas for research that do not fit a standard lab setting.  I am very excited for the wide variety of activities that we participate in, especially visiting local markets and businesses to gain a more realistic sense of what living in Barcelona is like.

What are your goals for your study abroad experience?

  • Academically speaking, I want to leave Barcelona having a strong foundation for my research project that will culminate during my senior year and be proud of the projects that I complete during the program.  Personally, I want to do something every day that pushes me out of my comfort zone.  As cliché as it sounds, I really want to fully immerse myself in a culture whose values vary greatly from what I am familiar with.  I want to become more comfortable with being spontaneous and less afraid of change because there is so much in life that I have yet to experience.

At the end of the program, what memories do you want to take with you?

  • I want to cherish memories of doing things that I will never have the chance to experience ever again.  Each day in Spain is an opportunity to get outside my comfort zone to see what life is like in a culture very different from my own while in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  I guarantee that I will take tons of pictures and will be journaling constantly so I can remember this experience for years to come!

What are your hobbies and interests?

  • Like most kinesiology majors, I like to work out and cook amazing food (not to brag or anything).  I enjoy lifting, kickboxing, yoga, aerial silks, zumba, volleyball…pretty much everything except running and cycling.  I went crazy having to eat the dining hall food this year, so I will be making great use of my apartment’s kitchen in the fall.  I tend to bake secretly healthy sweets for my family (gluten-free vegan black bean brownies, anyone?), but I can make some artery-clogging masterpieces when the need arises.

What is a fun fact not many people know about you?

  • I have absolutely no musical talent.  I learned this early on when I took cello lessons in the 4th grade and quit promptly once I learned that musical notes existed and there was a certain level of coordination that came into simultaneously doing different things with each hand.  I gave my musical career one last shot during high school when I attempted to learn how to play the guitar and I can proudly say that I mastered the introduction to “Smoke on Water.”  Despite these musical pitfalls, I like to think that I have some level of singing talent and always have a song stuck in my head, from movie soundtracks to Eminem.

What is the title of your project?

  • Body Image Dissatisfaction: Cultural Differences in Eating Habits, Self-Esteem, and Motives for Exercise in Adolescents

What do you think you will be doing in Barcelona (research-wise)?

  • I want to focus on adolescent eating habits, self-esteem, and reasons for doing exercise to gain a greater understanding about how body image impacts each aspect of a healthy lifestyle.  I will likely compare the adolescents by their cultural identity and gender using the information I collect from surveys and interviews.

What is the outcome of your work?

  • I want to observe the connections between eating habits, self-esteem, and motives for exercise in adolescents to see how body image impacts the formation of a healthy lifestyle in Barcelona and Chicago.  I would like to use my research findings to work toward preventing the development of disordered eating and poor self-esteem amongst adolescents worldwide by targeting common concerns presented in the surveys.