Study abroad programs are available dime a dozen these days. It’s honestly not about where you choose to study abroad but it’s about what you do there. When studying abroad students should make optimum use of their time and resources so that they can come out the other side with a number of friends, connections, experiences on travel & local culture and more.
During my time here in Barcelona, I have met a number of people. Some interesting, others helpful and the rest great fun! Going into this program, I did not know anyone or anything about the situation I was getting myself into. On reaching Spain, I kept an open mind and an outgoing attitude so that I could develop connections with the people I would meet here.
Arriving in Spain was an easy adaption for me due to the abundant help offered by the CEA staff and onsite team. This was definitely an initial connection that I developed. These were the go to people for anything I needed while I will be here. Next I met with my hall mates who I would be living with at the residence hall that I was assigned. These were the people I would be interacting with on a daily basis. These were some more great connections since I could potentially travel and explore the EU with these folks. Lastly the teachers/instructors on campus were excellent sources to go to for help on anything really (anything from subject matter to career advice.)
I think that developing these connections has really helped me maneuver my self around Barcelona and has made my experience here that much better. Going forward after this study abroad, I know for a fact that I will take lessons learned here into my daily life back home. Since this is my senior year and last semester of college so going forward, I will definitely use a lot of the connections I have made here to help develop the future of my career. A great example of making use of a connection I made here could be keeping in touch with my fashion teacher. Since I am interested in working in the fashion industry and eventually developing my own shoe line, my teacher Fred, who has PHD in fashion studies and is a photographer by profession will be extremely helpful in providing me valuable industry advice. More over by making a number of friends, I have been able to travel all over the EU and hence been able to experience and discover new cities and markets. Having done this it has broadened my horizon and opened up the possibility of living/working abroad by a large magnitude.
Lastly I would like to conclude by saying that studying abroad has taught me so much about the person I am and want to be. I have realized that I am very independent and like doing things “my way”. I thought this is a good quality to have. However I have learned that it is important to understand others and work with them in harmony to reach your desired outcomes.
Shiv Sawhney is the CEA Fall 2012 MOJO in Barcelona, Spain
Read more about our CEA Content Creators.