Brianna Dao

Nursing

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

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

Awakening

Explain why you chose those words.

From visiting beaches and museums, meeting and getting to know locals, and touring very different cities while sampling a variety of Spanish foods, we were able to do and see so much in such a seemingly short amount of time. Learning about Spanish history, having that sense of exploration, and being exposed to a culture so different from what I grew up with, sparked some inspiration in me to continue that curiosity. It’s hard to gauge how much is out there when you live in the same place all your life. Immersing myself in another culture made me realize all of the different ideas, values, and customs that exist in the world from a newly gained perspective.

What was your favorite place to eat in Barcelona? Favorite food?

My favorite place to eat in Barcelona was definitely Kilim on Carrer del Blai in Poble Sec. It is a great place to grab a delicious kebab. The street is also filled with plenty of fun tapas bars.

Is there a site in Barcelona that you would recommend to future students that may be a little more “off the beaten path”?

It wasn’t until my very last day in Barcelona where I discovered a little square in the middle of Gracia–Plaça del Sol. Fittingly, it was a sunny afternoon, and the Plaça was filled with people gathered around playing games, volunteers organizing activities for little kids, individuals reading books or laying out with their dogs, and musicians jamming out together. The atmosphere was so relaxing yet spirited and was exactly what I imagined Spanish life to be like. I would recommend future students to take the time to just walk around and explore all that Barcelona has to offer because there are just so many little things that you can discover on foot that you might miss from riding on the metro all the time.

Why was Barcelona SAE the right program for you?

Barcelona SAE did a wonderful job accommodating all of the students and making the stay in Barcelona an experience to remember. The staff was so friendly, helpful, and open, giving suggestions for places to go, things to do, and places to eat. They really helped all of us make the most out of our experience in a foreign country with all of the advice, trips, and activities offered.