Don’t Forget to Study
You can’t forget that you aren’t just abroad you are STUDYING abroad. This may have slipped my mind a few times when I started to plan weekend trips to different countries before classes even started, but trust me, there is an academic side of things.
A lot of people, myself included, assume that the work here is really easy and there’s never homework and that you don’t actually have to attend class. This is not the case. CEA has an attendance policy, so you can miss some classes, but it can’t be a regular thing. I’m not so sure where I came up with the idea that in Europe they don’t have homework or regular assignments. I thought they just have maybe one big project and then a midterm and final. I was a bit disappointed when I had reading the first night of classes, but then when I actually did it, I realized it isn’t so bad.
This semester, I am taking four classes: The Culture of Food and Wine, Show Me the Money: the Business and Marketing of Sport, Photography, and Communications & Global Competence. I’m studying Sports Journalism at school, hence the communication and sport class, but I wanted to be able to take classes here that would really help me connect to the culture in Barcelona and make my time here more special.
Even the classes I chose to take that count towards my major at school are completely different than they would be back in the States. For example, in my sports marketing class, we’ve been talking about the difference in the popularity of certain sports in Spain and Europe versus the United States. I hadn’t heard of a majority of the athletes before, nor have I watched European basketball, but this semester we get to go to a game as a field trip. You learn things in the classroom then actually get to go out and experience it firsthand, whether it’s a tapas cooking class, a basketball game, or a visit to a museum. That isn’t so easy to do back at home.
The classes here are also so much more intriguing than taking a class at school in a big lecture hall. The stuff I am learning is actually explained by what I am experiencing firsthand, I am learning valuable information to help me adapt to this new culture and understand it outside of the American tourist perspective. It’s fun to go to class when you are learning about food or photography.
Anna Q. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a junior studying Journalism and Sports Leadership & Management at Miami University.