Natalie Debolske - Barcelona Spain

This past semester, Spring 2014, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain. I was there for a total of 4 and a half months. I always knew I wanted to study abroad but was always a bit hesitant. About a week before the date of departure, it sunk in what I was getting myself into. I was going away for a long time from my friends, family, and school. While there, I took 5 classes: Career Development, Advanced Spanish, Spanish for Business, Spanish Culture, and Architecture in Spain. While none of these classes related to my major, it was an amazing chance for personal growth. Being taken out of my comfort zone in many different ways, socially and scholastically, forced me to adapt to unfamiliar situations. One of the biggest obstacles, but probably my favorite, was learning the language. That was one of the biggest reasons I studied abroad - to improve my Spanish.

During my free time I was able to explore Barcelona. There were endless things to see, and there was always something new and exciting to do. On Monday nights I volunteered at one of the largest children's hospitals in Spain, Sant Juan de Deu. I was able to interact with many patients and practice my Spanish a lot there! I was able to brighten the day of sick children by playing and talking with them, which I found most rewarding. On the weekends, I traveled to different cities within Spain and throughout western Europe. Some of the places I visited were Madrid, Sitges, Valencia, Granada, Lisbon, Interlaken, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris. Every place I went was different and had something special to offer. Having the opportunity to see all of these places was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I cherish the memories. I am so grateful to have been able to do something so life changing and amazing.

 

My first view of Barcelona from the plane Paella: a typical food in Spain. Soooo yummy!
Me at my favorite mural in my favorite courtyard in all of Barcelona on a rainy day In snowy, cold Interlaken, Switzerland

Skiing the Swiss Alps

Me in my favorite room at my university: The University of Barcelona At Park Guell in Barcelona
Selfie with Mona Lisa Me and my mom at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris