Alyssa Berry

Nursing

Illinois Wesleyan University
Studied Abroad at BIC (now SIS)
Alyssa is from Illinois Wesleyan University, and studied abroad at Barcelona International College (BIC) during the Spring of 2015.

What are you up to these days? Have you graduated? Are you working? How did your experience in Barcelona have an impact on your life?

I have just completed my second year of nursing school at Illinois Wesleyan and am pursuing a Hispanic Studies minor as well. My experience in Barcelona was incredibly life-changing in a variety of ways–mentally, socially, emotionally, and culturally. I am now more open-minded than ever to other people, cultures, and experiences and have found a greater sense of confidence in exploring unfamiliar places and in challenging myself.

If you were to sum up your Barcelona experience in one to two words, what would you say? My Barcelona Experience is…

Self Exploration

Explain why you chose those words.

While exploring other countries and cultures, I was able to discover a deeper understanding of my own values and beliefs. My exposure to the immense amount of new experiences and people while abroad allowed me to grasp the foundations of other cultures and to grow as a person.

What was your favorite tour, day trip, or cultural activity? Why?

One of my favorite day trips was to Montserrat. I was amazed at the beauty of these mountains and it was breathtaking to look over parts of the beautiful country that I could call my home for four months.

What was something you were surprised to learn about Barcelona or Spain? Or what aspect of the country or city were you least expecting?

I was surprised at the way in which Barcelona was so different yet, in many ways, very similar to my home near Chicago. The city seems extremely busy and chaotic at times, as most large cities are, but there are so many places where you are able to sit peacefully and feel very comfortable with your surroundings.

What is one piece of advice that you have for future students coming to Barcelona?

Make every day count. Barcelona is filled with incredible sights, activities, and people, and it’s incredible to think how fast those four months pass. Be on your feet as much as you can, this city will never stop surprising you.

Why was Barcelona SAE the right program for you?

Barcelona SAE provided the right tools for self discovery, cultural exploration, and personal growth. It was a great balance between educational and recreational activities, especially with the day and weekend trips, and I was able to connect with others from all over the world.