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Jalan Gunning

Journalism and Mass Communications

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Studied Abroad at UAB

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

Culturally Fulfilling

Explain why you chose those words.

One of the main reasons I came to Barcelona was to immerse myself in the culture as well as get better with my Spanish. Staying with a host family really assisted me in being able to learn about the culture and the different customs associated with Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain. In addition, UAB is a school full of international students, not just those from the USA. With that being said, I was able to learn about how they do things through group projects, class discussions, and simple conversations.

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

Belchite!!!! When reading about our weekend trip to Zaragoza, I just knew I would really enjoy the trip. Belchite gave me a view of Spain that I had never seen before. Walking through and seeing what’s left of the small village allowed me to really feel the history. I found it so interesting to see first hand where bombs landed, how the residents moved underground, and mass graves of those who died during the Civil War. Belchite will always be in my mind!

What was your housing experience like? Did you live in an apartment with other students? A homestay with a local family? A residence hall on your Barcelona campus?

I stayed in a homestay and it was the BEST decision I could have ever made. When arriving, I had many reservations about if I would like my homestay, how the family would be, and if they could accommodate my picky eating habits! My family did an amazing job welcoming me in and making me feel right at home. I was given my own bedroom and shared a bathroom with another study abroad student. My roommate and I became GREAT friends. My family pushed me to learn and speak Spanish, try new things, and they were there to answer EVERY question I had about Barcelona. Leaving them at the end of my program was the toughest thing I had to do. I left my new mom, dad, and 2 little sisters in Barcelona and they are awaiting my next adventure to Spain because they said I will ALWAYS have my room there.

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

Pack light…you’ll be surprised at how much you buy. I came to Barcelona with a full checked bag and very small personal bag, I left with the same 2 bags but I also purchased a carry-on size suitcase as well. You never know how much you will accumulate during your time in Barcelona.

Why was Barcelona SAE the right program for you?

Going into this study abroad experience, I didn’t know what to expect. The staff at Barcelona SAE did an AMAZING job making sure that my transition from the US to Barcelona and back was smooth. They were there with me every step of the way. This program is an expert in all things Barcelona. I could always find something to do from the Barcelona Bucket List that I was given at the start of the program. If ever I plan to do an internship in Barcelona, I have no doubt that I would do it through Barcelona SAE.