Nothing fits the puzzle as perfectly as Barcelona. I have learned so much about myself while I have been abroad. During this experience I might still have days where I think of myself as an enemy, but refreshingly, now I also see myself as a friend, best friend even. I have grown to enjoy my own company on this trip, and that is not something everyone can say. I have learned something new about myself and have grown to love and accept myself more every single day. 

Barcelona has taken away my worries and fears through it’s sedated life, social nights, pink skies, and warm-summer ambience. When I got to Barcelona, the first thing I noticed about myself was that I didn’t have as much of my anxieties weighing on my shoulders anymore. I felt at ease, like everything was going to be alright. I felt peace in the arms of Barcelona. And for someone that is raised in the countryside and not a fan of cities, that says something. Maybe because Barcelona isn’t just a city to me, but an enriched community.

I am so grateful for my experience abroad and for all the people I have gotten closer to. I wouldn’t change this experience for the world. Sure, there are struggles and hardships when studying abroad, but you will always eventually get to go back home and you may never be abroad again. When you first arrive that will be the most difficult part of your study abroad adventure. At least in my case, when I first arrived, I wished I was back home and didn’t know how I was going to make it for the whole duration of the trip. But now looking back, it is hard for me to leave this life behind. I know it may not feel like it in the moment, but it will be a time in your life you will never forget and forever be grateful for. 

Barcelona has been the city I have explored and figured out who I am as a person. No other city will ever compare to that. Every time I went to other countries on a weekend trip or for Semana Santa (Spain's Holy Week, or Spring Break), I felt so appreciative, serene, and comforted on the flight back because I knew I would finally be back in my city, Barcelona.

Barcelona, where I understood the metro and how to get around. Barcelona, where I knew the people and the atmosphere. Barcelona, the place I call home. 

Josephine Carroll

Josephine Carroll

Josephine is a Spanish major and Art History minor from Eastern Illinois University. She studied abroad at the University of Barcelona during the Spring 2024 semester and lived with a local homestay family.



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