How do you really reflect on an experience such as the one I had last summer on the Global Seminar: Barcelona Literature & Culture faculty-led study abroad program? It’s impossible to pick only a few moments, since each one was important and fundamental to my experience and growth.
Rather than trying to summarize my experiences, here are the top six lessons I learned during my summer in Europe.
Traveling is a healthy addiction
My homestay mom told me this during our first conversation over dinner. In that moment, I knew her declaration would be profoundly important to me and my experience abroad.
We all deserve to be loved and adored
It is very easy in life to settle when it comes to amorous relationships. Spain's Salvador Dalí has so much to teach about life, art and creativity, but the incredible love he had for his wife Gala made the biggest impact on me.
Even artists have to practice before their masterpiece
Galleries and museums show and discuss artists’ creations and their significance, but they don’t often discuss the process of creating the masterpieces. At the Picasso museum, I could see his progression as an artist through his work. Picasso is a revolutionary artist, and he still had to practice. Doing what we love doesn’t often come naturally; we can’t be afraid to practice it to achieve greatness.
Some of the best artists were considered crazy
During a short trip to Amsterdam, I visited the Van Gogh museum. Throughout his life, Van Gogh struggled with mental health issues. He is also one of the best artists in history. As someone who also has experienced mental health challenges, it’s inspiring to see a person have so much success in life, despite health problems.
Every city has its own personality
Many people have asked me which city I liked the most out of the ones I visited: Barcelona, Amsterdam or Rome. I love all three cities for different reasons. They each have their own purpose and personality. Getting to know a place’s people, quirks and secrets is one of the most rewarding parts of studying abroad.
The best moments are the simple ones
Out of all the incredible sites we visited and experiences we had, my favorite moments were the simple ones. Talking with my classmates over tapas, appreciating the view after a difficult hike, sitting in a plaza enjoying gelato and people watching. These are the moments I will remember forever.