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Studying abroad allows you to make so many lifelong memories, but it will also come with a lot of different emotions and feelings, some of which you may never have experienced before. From homesickness to travel fatigue, there are a lot of ways being abroad can take a toll on your mental health. As you embark on your study abroad experience here in Barcelona, it is important to consider different ways of taking care of yourself both physically and mentally to be able to truly enjoy your time abroad. Barcelona is a big city with so much to offer, so use that to your advantage! Here are some of my self care tips for study abroad students.

Get outside!

No matter the season, Barcelona is a beautiful city to explore. From the beaches to the Parc de la Ciutadella to the surrounding Catalan countryside, there is so much to see. Going for a walk, run, or hike is a great way to not only see the city, but take time to clear your head and get a bit of exercise in.


Most people will recommend keeping a journal during your study abroad, and if that’s something that works for you, I highly recommend it. During my time in Barcelona, I wasn’t very good at being consistent with my journal, but it did help to write down my thoughts and how I was feeling if I was having a difficult time. Writing down your feelings is very useful, so choose whatever method works for you!

Talk to someone!

Whether it’s a friend you’ve made in Barcelona, a friend from home, or even your Barcelona SAE staff mentor, it’s important to reach out when you need help or even just to talk things out. Barcelona SAE also has plenty of resources for therapy options that are available to students as well. Don’t be afraid to get help if you need it.

Take a break!

Between classes, traveling, and exploring Barcelona, studying abroad can be a lot. Don’t forget to take time for yourself to reset and recover. It’s key to enjoying your time abroad! I know it may feel like you’re missing out on other opportunities or that you have to make the most of every minute, but taking care of yourself is just as important.

Stay connected to home!

Wherever home is for you, find ways to stay connected to it during your time in Barcelona. Make sure you’re talking with friends and family often, as not only will they want to hear about your adventures, but it is also helpful in feeling less homesick. You can also find other things that remind you of home. Whether it’s taking a trip to the American grocery store, Taste of America, or getting a burger at Five Guys, doing something that reminds you of home can help ease the feeling of homesickness many students struggle with.

Studying abroad in Barcelona is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime, so it is important that you take care of yourself so you are able to enjoy it!

Emma Dominguez

Emma Dominguez is a student from the University of Miami who studied abroad with Barcelona SAE during the Spring 2023 semester. She took classes at both the School for International Studies (SIS) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

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