Hola a todos!

We are excited to present our first featured alumna, Stephanie Patterson.  Stephanie currently attends Chapman University in California and participated in Barcelona SAE’s summer program at Barcelona International College (BIC) as well as the internship program last summer.  Recently, Stephanie won the title of Miss South Coast 2012 and will be competing for Miss California in July 2012.

Although Stephanie has been very busy in Orange County lately with her new title, graduation, and her sister’s wedding, she took the time to answer some questions for Barcelona SAE about how her experience abroad has impacted her life.

Barcelona SAE: Do you feel like being abroad allowed you be more open to trying new things?

SP: Studying abroad not only helped me become more open to new experiences, but it really took me out of my comfort zone in every way. Studying in Barcelona was my first time away from home and helped me become more independent and learn new things about myself. It also gave me a chance to apply everything I learned from my Spanish classes in high school and college. It isn’t until you are in Pamplona celebrating the Running of the Bulls that you ACTUALLY understand what your college textbooks are talking about and how amazing immersing yourself into another culture can be!

Barcelona SAE: Was one of your favorite things about living in Barcelona?

SP: I really loved the appreciation of art that Barcelona has. Everywhere you go, you find buildings that truly are a work of art just around the corner. I lived in Vila Olimpica, so I was able to see so many amazing buildings and statues that were built before the Olympics. La Sagrada Familia was also a fifteen minutes walk from where I lived; it is by far my favorite cathedral in the city!

Barcelona SAE: You studied and interned with Barcelona SAE. How has your study and work experience been advantageous since you left Barcelona? 

SP: I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked in interviews about working in Barcelona! It has definitely made my resume stand out.  My language courses helped me improve my communication and speaking skills as well as helped my public speaking skills in both English and Spanish. When asked about my internship, I talk about how my month of work in a new venture helped me apply everything I have learned from school into a real setting.

Barcelona SAE: What did you like most about the Barcelona SAE program?

 SP: I feel that the program has so much to offer every student at any level of Spanish. The classes are challenging but rewarding, and there are so many exciting activities that help you learn about the city. From the cooking classes to exploring the city, I was able to make lasting friendships with so many people and really learn about myself!

Barcelona SAE: How has being immersed in another culture helped you achieve future goals?

SP: It has helped me become more appreciative of different people and everything they have to offer. It has also wanted me to look into more opportunities to travel, study abroad, and possibly work abroad.

Barcelona SAE: Would you encourage other students to do this program?

SP: Yes. I am so happy and hope that more students will join me in being a part of the SAE Barcelona Alumni!

For more photos and information about Stephanie as Miss South Coast, check out: http://www.miss-oc.com/

For information on how to participate in the summer BIC program or Internship program, visit our website.