A major part of study abroad is the “study” portion.  The reality of my academic life abroad is the classes I am taking are incredibly different than the United States equivalent, and that is exactly what I had in mind before I got here. When I decided to study abroad, I knew I wanted to take classes that would both meet the requirements of my home university and actually interest me.  Now I can confidently say both of those things are checked off the list.  One of the…

study abroad, studying abroad, study abroad in Granada

I’m an indecisive person. But one thing I had decided clearly in my mind when I started college was that I was going to study abroad. I didn’t know where or when, but I was going to make it happen one way or another. I’m also somewhat of a perfectionist, so choosing a study abroad program was quite a long process, but I started early and researched thoroughly. I attended my school’s study abroad meetings, requested information online, made phone calls, talked to my professors, and weighed out…

People sometimes seem to think that communication is an easy major, but every business and establishment need skilled communicators. Subtle differences in the ways people use language can completely alter the success of our interactions with strangers, potential business partners, and foreign friends. The ability to deliver information in an effective way is imperative to achieving goals and creating relationships. A teacher without communication skills is just a smart person because there is no way for the students to gain from their experience if they don’t understand what…

When studying abroad in Barcelona, it is almost impossible not to fall in love with the land of endless sunshine and adventure.  With its incredible food scene, close proximity to the beach, vibrant culture and nightlife, it is very easy to get swept up in the excitement.  For those of us traveling on a college budget, these expenses can quickly pile up.  Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the thriving atmosphere of Barcelona without breaking the bank! Take advantage of Barcelona’s beautiful outdoor spaces There are…

Finding housing in another country can be pretty daunting as the regulations vary by country, and you may not have a familiarity with what is considered good pricing, location, etc. One of the great benefits of studying abroad with CEA is that all housing accommodations are taken care of before arrival in the host country.  If you’re looking into studying abroad in Sevilla (which I can’t recommend enough), there are three different housing options you can choose from, based on what you want out of your experience: apartment, Casa…

To get from Des Moines, Iowa to Barcelona, Spain is no simple task. Three flights, two long layovers, and one cab ride later, I finally made it to my new home away from home. I had no idea what to expect upon my arrival here in Barcelona, as I had never been to Spain before. It has only been a few weeks, but this beautiful city is everything I expected and more. Pre-departure Jitters The two biggest worries I had coming into this experience were the language barrier…

If you’re reading this, you may have just returned from an amazing study abroad experience (or maybe you’re mentally preparing to return home). During your time abroad, you probably had moments where you felt really homesick. Understandably, at first you’ll be so excited to return home; seeing your beloved friends and family again, eating all your favorite foods, sleeping in your own bed, and finally having access to all your clothes again. However, this initial excitement will eventually wear off, and that’s when you find yourself feeling sort…

I come from Iowa State University which is located in Ames, Iowa. The population of Ames is around 65,000 people and this number includes the 36,000 students that attend the university each year. Clearly, Barcelona is quite different, with an approximate population of 1.6 million people. School in Iowa versus school in Barcelona is truly a night and day difference. In Ames, the campus is 3 square miles and I live just outside of that area. Here in Barcelona, I take classes at the CEA Study Center, which…

If you close your eyes and try to picture a stereotypical Spaniard, what comes to mind? For many, Spanish culture goes hand in hand with the image of a striking dark-haired girl, wearing a floor-length red dress trimmed at the bottom in ruffles, and holding a fan dramatically in one hand while she dances. The image is easy to conjure up, but the history and culture behind this image are much less familiar. The girl is a representation of a flamenco dancer, historically from the Gitano (gypsy) population,…

I chose to learn from the locals. It gave me the chance and the reason to talk to some locals while here in Barcelona. I stopped 10 people and just had a short conversation with them about what they were doing. This man actually stopped me to ask for directions. I happily helped him, but I also asked where he was visiting from. He told me he had just moved to Barcelona for a job and he was getting the hang of living in a new city. I felt…