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It was early October of 2012 that I attended UC Riverside’s Study Abroad Fair. I was walking around looking at all the different programs that were being offered when I happened to walk by a table that simply said ‘Barcelona SAE’.

Believe it or not that grabbed my attention right away. Barcelona, Spain had been my number one dream destination for quite some time. At the table there was a representative, Elena. If I had to think back on the one moment that convinced me to take that chance to study abroad it would be meeting and speaking to Elena. She was so excited about the program and it was very contagious. She made everything sound so great. Her passion and love for Barcelona was truly amazing. After hearing about the program and all it had to offer I was sold and had signed up to receive more information about the program and begin the process.

A year later I am now currently studying here in Barcelona at BIC. I have been in Spain since September 3rd and it has already been the most amazing experience of my life. In only a couple weeks my life has been changed for the better in so many different ways. Everything that I have seen too has exceeded my expectations on so many levels. I live about a ten minute walk from the famous Sagrada Familia Catherdaral in Barcelona and seeing that for the first time left me completely speechless. Come to think of it being in Spain has left me speechless several times already. The art, the architecture, the beaches, the mountains, and the people are all so unique and beautiful here. Not to mention watching a soccer match at FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou was an experience like no other for a sports fan like myself.

While here I have been living in a homestay and have loved it so far. I already see my host parents Magda and Enrique as part of my family. They cook my roommate and I delicious typical Catalan or Spanish meals every night and take the time to talk to me about anything that I might want to discuss. Living with a family definitely helps to learn about Barcelona’s very rich and unique culture.

Studying at BIC has been a treat in itself. It is a very different atmosphere than studying at a school like UC Riverside. The class sizes are very small so there is a lot of one on one with the professors. It is very easy to ask for help or engage in conversation with your professor or peers over the material at hand. It’s a set up I have really been enjoying.
I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone even considering it. A month in and I can already tell it will be an adventure I will never forget. But if you have ever had any interest in Spain or specifically in Barcelona, Barcelona SAE is definitely the way to go. I am having the time of my life right now and while there may have been many other programs out there I am glad that I chose Barcelona SAE. All the advisors, mentors, and professors associated with the program are truly dedicated to making sure students get the most out of their experience here. I would say it was the perfect fit for a student like me who wanted nothing more than to travel and study here in Barcelona.

Elizabeth Aguillon

Elizabeth is a Pre-Business major from UC Riverside, and studied abroad at SIS (Formally BIC) during Fall 2013.