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Falling in Love with Barcelona (Again)

Tarek's journey to studying abroad began in high school. As we continue our "Male CEA Alumni Ambassadors in Study Abroad" blog series, Tarek, a student at the University of Massachusetts, shares more about how he chose to study abroad in Barcelona and how his experience has impacted his life.
 Tarek Dahdul
CEA Barcelona Fall '13 Alum &
Current Alumni Ambassador

CEA: Why did you choose to study abroad?

Tarek: I have traveled all my life but for only weeks at a time. My sister studied abroad my junior year of high school and I fell in love in Barcelona when I visited her. I knew that a semester in college was the perfect time to travel to Europe. I knew the opportunities and experiences while studying abroad would be life changing.

CEA: What skills did you learn or improve on during your time abroad?

Tarek: In my time abroad, my language and interpersonal skills improved dramatically. I took some Spanish in high school but did not take any in college. Studying in Spain allowed me to practice my Spanish every day. Whether it is meeting new people in my program, asking locals for directions, or speaking to the clerk at the airport, I got extremely comfortable talking to people.

CEA: How have you changed because of your abroad experience?

Tarek: Since studying abroad, I have become more independent. Living without my friends and family for the semester allowed me to take on more responsibility. I have learned to appreciate what I have and embrace all cultures.

CEA: What classes did you find useful or applicable to your field of study or career interest?

Tarek: My Entrepreneurship class was very interesting and helpful to me because I hope to start my business one day. Also, my class on the Marketing of Sport in Barcelona was interesting because we discussed the differences in sport between the US and Europe.

CEA: How has the ambassador experience helped you when you returned and with your future career goals?

Tarek: I have been able to fully reflect on my abroad experience because I share it with prospective students. Being a CEA Alumni Ambassador enhances my marketing, leadership, and interpersonal skills. I know that I have support and guidance from other CEA ambassadors and staff if I need it.

CEA: What aspects of study abroad do you think male students are most interested in?

Tarek: Male students are interested in the spontaneity of traveling, the freedom of living on your own time, and meeting men and women from all over the world. It is important to gain that global perspective and to diversify yourself. In addition, if you do not go abroad, you will be missing out on the best times of your life!

CEA: If you could give any piece of advice to other male students considering study abroad, what would it be?

Tarek: It will be the best time of your life. You will be able to experience things that were not available to you and make friendships you will never forget in places
you could never imagine.


Tarek Dahdul is a veteran CEA Alumni Ambassador and will be a senior at the University of Massachusetts. He studied abroad in Barcelona during the Fall 2013 semester.

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