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Coming to Terms with the End of My Semester Abroad

March 26, 2023
by Solomon Herring
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Placa St. Jaune during Christmas in Barcelona
Placa de Sant Jaume during Christmas.

When you first step foot in your study abroad destination, you will often have the sense that you have all the time in the world to explore your new home. I mean, three and a half months is a long time, especially if you're used to experiencing a new country during a one-week vacation. However, you will shortly realize that your time is limited and you need to make the most of studying abroad.

For me, it felt crazy when I reached the one-month mark, and after coming back from break week in Morocco and realizing that I only had one month left was the biggest shock of my time here. I realized that I could no longer set things I had wanted to do for a later date, as my time was running out. Making things even more difficult, I have needed to balance the things I wanted to do with my academic obligations, as the intensity of my workload has been increasing as finals approach. This has made these final weeks rather hectic, and at times very stressful. However, it has by far been the most rewarding part of my time here in Barcelona.

After living in a city for a few months, you start to truly understand the place. You become familiar with the public transportation system, and are able to walk most places you want to go without needing to use Google Maps. You know your favorite restaurants and your favorite places to chill out. Each place you see on your daily routine tells a story about you. However, when your time starts running out, you are always pressed with the fact that you are about to leave. These past few weeks have been the time that I have felt the most connected to my fellow classmates and other friends here in Barcelona.

Two students smiling together
Barcelona TikToker Andrew Truong and I enjoying one of our last nights out.

For me, I found the most important part of these weeks to be doing all of the things I still needed to do before leaving Barcelona. Luckily, I have been able to do most of these so far. I finally went inside the Cathedral of Barcelona, and saw the view from the terrace of the Basilica of Santa Mari­a del Mar. I got to experience a wonderful afternoon in Park Gi¼ell. I met up with friends that I have been meaning to catch up with since I arrived. Most importantly however, I've been using this time to practice Spanish as much as I can.

Inside the Cathedral of Barcelona
Inside the Cathedral of Barcelona.

My time is running out, and my time in Barcelona is coming to a bittersweet end. I am extremely sad that it is almost time for me to leave the city, but I am also happy that I have been able to make such good connections, and that these past weeks hold some of my favorite memories. I came to the city with an entire semester in front of me. I had infinite expectations and there were infinite possibilities. Yet now, I spend my time reflecting on the time I've had, and using what little I have left.

All and all, my time in Barcelona has been one of ups and downs. There were times where I felt lost, as If I didn't belong in Barcelona. Yet it also came with some of the most unforgettable memories of my entire life. The memories I will bring home and the friendships I have forged will stay with me forever. The day I must say goodbye, I will do so with a heavy heart. But I will leave knowing that I will come back, and that Barcelona will always be a part of me.

The Gothic Quarter at night in Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter after sunset.

Solomon Herring is the Content Creator - Blogger.
 
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