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Studying Abroad in Europe – Photos of Personal Growth & Joy

March 11, 2024
by McKenna Miller

A Visual of Personal Growth and Cultural Joy: Studying Abroad in Europe

In Spring ‘23, I embarked on a journey across Europe, specifically by studying abroad in Barcelona with CEA CAPA. This was a pivotal chapter in my life, marking a period of personal growth and self-discovery. As I traveled through the many landscapes and vibrant cultures of Europe, I discovered profound happiness around every corner.

A car on a road by the ocean

One of the prettiest photos, the view in our taxi in Capri.  

The transformative experience is encapsulated in my photoset, a collection that not only reflects my journey but also serves as a testament to the universal language of happiness and joy! 

Two study abroad students posing for a picture in front of a large circular building

Exploring ancient wonders with my friend Sydney by my side while making memories against the timeless backdrop of the Colosseum in Rome! 

What I Captured

My photoset aims to capture the essence of my happiest moments during my European trip. Each photograph displays a unique cultural tapestry that enhanced my experience.

A group of study abroad friends posing for a picture

Ilana, Shannon and I at one of our favorite spots in Barcelona, The Bunkers! 

One of the key themes throughout the photoset is the idea of personal growth and a newfound perspective on life. The moments captured reflect the evolution of my understanding of myself and the diverse world around me.

Two study abroad students posing for a picture in front of a tall building

One of our first weeks in Barcelona with the beautiful Sagrada in the background with my favorite CEA CAPA friends! 

Whether it's a candid shot of my friends and I or a photo of locals dancing in the street, each photograph narrates a story of self-discovery and the realization that true happiness lies in embracing the present. 

A group of people dancing in a city

Wandering the streets of Barcelona and saw the happiest looking people dancing in the street.

Discovering Happiness While Living Abroad

The genuine connections depicted in the photos transcend cultural boundaries, demonstrating the universal nature of joy.

A group of study abroad students in aprons standing around a table with food

My friends that I met in a cooking class in Barcelona. 

One lesson I learned while studying abroad in Barcelona is that happiness is not confined by geographical borders or cultural differences; it’s a shared human experience that unites us all.

A group of study abroad students on a stage

My roommate Shannon and I at a Karaoke bar singing on stage.

The diverse settings and cultural backdrops serve as an overarching theme of the universality of joy, encouraging viewers to reflect on their own sources of happiness and connection. 

Personal Growth from Studying Abroad

My study abroad journey also prompted my own self-evolution and appreciation for diverse cultures and identity, realizing how often we take our own cultural norms for granted in America. I had preconceptions, which allowed me to confront my biases, which resulted in a new appreciation for the importance of cultural understanding.

A person standing on a balcony overlooking Sagrada Família

My favorite view of the Sagrada Familia from a hotel in Barcelona that we visited frequently.

For example, expecting others to speak English in a new country made me hyper aware of my own ignorance which motivated me to have a new cultured perspective.

A study abroad student standing on a railing in front of a building

A photo of myself admiring Rome and all its beauty.

When I visited a new country, I’d have a new appreciation of embracing the complexity of the world around me. Lastly, being exposed to different backgrounds and navigating the challenges in my daily life while studying abroad contributed to my adaptability because I learned to appreciate the world on a deeper level and cherish human diversity.  

Two study abroad students on a scooter

My roommate Shannon and I are doing one of our favorite activities together, riding mopeds in Positano! 

As I share this photoset, I hope to inspire others to seek and celebrate moments of joy in their lives. These images are more than just snapshots; they're special moment of my travels, the beauty of cultural diversity, and the importance of finding happiness within oneself.  

McKenna Miller is the Spring 2023 Alumni Ambassador in Barcelona, Spain, and is currently studying at Clemson University.
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