I am currently at home because my program has ended unexpectedly due to COVID-19, but since I have been home I have been reflecting on goals that I made at the beginning of the semester. I realized that, although my program was cut short, I accomplished most everything I wanted to during my time abroad.
MAKE A VIDEO ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE
The day that I arrived in Barcelona, I started creating a “one second a day video” and that is an app where you insert one second from a video that you took each day. Gradually, I have added one second videos from January 1st to March 13th and now I have a full video. I am so thankful that I created this video because since I was in Europe for so long, it is hard to summarize my experience, but this video has done that for me. It is so nice to look back at that video and see only 1% of this amazing experience, but it was so much more.
BE ABLE TO HOLD A CONVERSATION IN SPANISH
Before I came to Spain, I knew very little Spanish. Therefore, I was placed in the level A2 class which is still beginners. By the end of the semester, I have practiced Spanish in a variety of settings such as inside the classroom, outside the classroom, or at language exchanges. Now, I can hold a Spanish conversation well by talking about simple things such as where I am from, what I enjoy doing, and conversations dealing with clothing stores or apartments. It may not seem like much, but it is a huge improvement from the beginning of the semester.
LEARN A FEW LOCAL RECIPES
Between taking cooking classes and my Spanish class, I have learned how to make a variety of Spanish dishes. I have learned how to make pan con tomate, paella, crème Catalan, and tortilla de patata. I cannot give away the recipes though, because I encourage you to come and experience them first hand and enjoy the goodness of each one.
LEARN WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY & RECYCLE
Before I came to Barcelona, I recycled sometimes but I knew that Barcelona valued saving energy and recycling and I wanted to do the same. During my time, I kept a separate bag for recyclables such as paper, glass, plastic, and organic waste that I would take out once a week. I would limit myself to ten-minute showers to save water. I would also turn off the lights when not in use and airdry my clothes. These small acts added up to saving so much energy and recycling, and I hope to continue these habits.
TRAVEL TO OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE OR SPAIN
While in Barcelona, flights to other countries were very cheap so I wanted to take advantage of that. During my two and a half months stay, I got to travel to Dublin in Ireland, Nice in France, Monte Carlo in Monaco. As well as Seville, Tarragona, and Monserrat in Spain. I am so grateful to have gotten this opportunity to explore Europe because I learned so much about the different cultures.
Looking back, I realize all of the goals that I have achieved, and it makes me realize the experience that I just went though. Now that I am back home, it is hard to think that I got to travel around Europe and study in Barcelona. I learned so much along the way and I could not thank Barcelona SAE more for this once in a lifetime experience. Someday, I will return to the place I call home.