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Surviving the End of a Semester Abroad

December 10, 2018
by Kathleen P Garrison


Human beings 
are made of water –

we were not designed
to hold ourselves together

rather run freely
like oceans
like rivers

- Beau Taplin, Hunting Season


Well, friends, the time has come to wave goodbye to a semester abroad. I hope you have all enjoyed this journey as much as I have (if that’s even possible).

Things are a little rough right now. With finals rapidly approaching (not to mention my bank account has seen better days), America is easing its way back in my life. And while I dwell on the idea that in two short weeks I won’t wake up to the view of the Barcelona streets, there are several things that I will take home with me, and even more things I want to say "thank you" to.

I have been in Barcelona for fourth months now. Like everyone warned me before I left for Barcelona —time has flown by. Studying abroad was an experience I so desperately was seeking, and I wish I could articulate the right words to explain this experience, but nothing I write seems to do justice.

Where do I begin?!

Most students who study abroad refer to this change as “life-altering” and might get made fun of for it back home. But I guess it’s one of those situations you don’t really understand until you experience it -- which is what makes it unique to each student. Studying abroad has fostered in me a more open mind and a global perspective. It taught me significance and value of things I hadn't considered or come across before going abroad.

I felt my time abroad allowed me to escape the fast pace and pressure I was feeling back in the U.S. What’s the fun of the journey if I rush through it all?

After traveling through Europe and studying in Spain, I have had the opportunity to talk to people I would have never thought I'd meet -- from the brand manager of Jeep, to the bread lady next to my apartment. But what I have also been able to do is come to the final solution that I am fortunate enough to even have this experience and share it with others.

Kathleen P Garrison is the Fall 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain, and is currently studying at Lynn University.
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