Adjusting to your New City
Ever since I was young I knew I wanted to study abroad. There was something about moving away across the country, immersing myself in new culture, new experiences, and stepping out of my comfort zone that I always found enticing.
How did I know CEA was the program for me? Well that was easy. CEA had so many amazing course options that not only sounded enjoyable, and they were also suitable for my major. CEA also provides you with amazing housing locations in the heart of the city and it helped that I had numerous friends do study abroad programs through CEA, and they returned with nothing but amazing things to say about the program.
The decision to go abroad and live across the world for four months can be a nerve wracking choice, and I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have any initial reservations. Once I packed up my two huge suitcases of all of my belongings and said goodbye to my family I thought to myself, “Wow, so this is really happening.” Going to Barcelona I was initially afraid of the language barrier and how I would get around, specifically when I got off of the plane. However, I have a couple years of Spanish experience so with that, and a little help from Google translate I had a feeling I could make things work. Too my surprise, most of the people in Spain are able to speak English proficiently!
Arriving in Barcelona I was anxious about meeting fellow students and adjusting to the new culture of this amazing city. Rest assured, CEA provides every resource you could possibly need while studying abroad, from where to get your groceries, to haircuts, to the best paella in town, they got you covered. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming, and through the process of orientation the first week I was able to feel (almost) fully acclimated to my new city. And I say almost because of adjusting to the time change. Through the first week I was able to meet so many new friends through CEA organized events and explore so many places all with the help the recommendations CEA provides you with upon your arrival. CEA even gives you a walking tour of your neighborhood so you are able to become familiar with your surroundings the first week, and they point out where the best local hangout spots are!
Now that I am numerous weeks into abroad I look back at the crazy whirlwind of arriving in the new country and I can’t help but laugh at myself. Looking back I have to admit I have no idea what I was doing, and I think that is the fun of it! If I had any recommendations to future students coming abroad it would be to get out there and go explore your new city. On your way home from class, try taking new streets each day, that is the best way I learned my way around the city. If you want to exercise, put on your running shoes and go on a run and see where you end up. Barcelona is a big city with so much to offer. Seize everyday because the semester flies by here in Barcelona!
Brynn M. is the Fall 2017 MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a Junior studying Communication at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.