Something that I haven’t really talked about yet but that has seriously influenced how amazing my time in Barcelona was, were the actual classes. It’s hard to believe that the purpose of the program is to study when it is sunny and hot everyday with the beach only a two minute walk away. Even so, the classes have really been a highlight of the program and I am in awe of how amazing the professors have been. I remember being nervous about the professors in Spain, as I worried that the professors would expect our Spanish to be perfect and the classes to be unbelievably difficult. Contrarily, the professors were some of the best instructors I have ever had for the Spanish language. The activities and homework assignments they planned, as well as their easy-going manner with the students made me feel more confident in speaking up in class and more eager to ask questions and learn about the concepts they introduced. They would not move on until the whole class understood the lesson and I felt that I have never learned so much in such a short amount of time (I even made sure to pack all my notebooks and workbooks in my suitcase). The classes absolutely exceeded my expectations and motivated me to continue speaking Spanish outside of the classroom.
Something that I personally found valuable during the program is accepting doing things alone. I have almost always been with a friend or family member when doing something or going somewhere, and I believe that travelling abroad is the perfect time to explore being by oneself. I met some incredible people in the program, but I have also met people and visited places that I probably would not have if I didn’t decide to do something because I wanted to do it, regardless of whether a friend could come along or not. This was a huge step for me as I became more comfortable in simply walking around on my own and I realized that it usually led to seeing interesting sights and meeting fascinating people. For example, I wet to eat by myself one time and I ended up talking for an hour to a couple from London who recently immigrated to Barcelona. As much as I love spending time with friends and family, I’m glad I took the opportunity to become accustomed to feeling comfortable and satisfied with being on my own.