Most college students who attend a big school can relate to that feeling of sitting through a lecture with another 300 students and not feeling engaged in the course. My advice? Go abroad! My largest class is 25 students and I have two classes with only seven people. Each professor brings something unique to every class, whether it’s where they grew up or their experiences, there is something interesting about all of them. These small classes really allow face-to-face interaction with a professor, as well as with other students, and this gets you excited to be in class and makes you want to contribute.
If you’re worried that the classes won’t be interesting, don't! Whether it’s International Journalism or Show Me the Money! The Business & Marketing of Sport, I’m sure you’ll be able to find some impressive classes. If you’re worried that you need perfect Spanish to take classes here, lucky for you, many classes are taught in English, but you also have the option to take a bunch more in Spanish. Tantas opciones… so many options, there’s something for everyone!
|Plaça de Catalunya (right by CEA and the center of the city)|
In addition to small class size and awesome course topics, classes at CEA are perfect in another way: the location. Located right in the heart of Barcelona - Plaça de Catalunya, which is the city center and holds much historical value. Each day, I pass hundreds of stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and fountains. This, plus thousands of people all around leads to an exhilarating walk every day. I recommend taking the time between classes for exploring rather than going back home and taking an hour and a half nap between two classes, it’s the perfect time for drinking café con leche (coffee with milk for the Spanish rookies out there) down by the beach, or sitting on Las Ramblas and watching the crowds go by.
One more perk to study abroad, no Friday classes. You are busy Monday through Thursday going to class and doing the work, but the classes are so interesting and worthwhile, it’s kind of a pleasure! After working hard, you then have time to experience more of the culture, cuisine and places of interest. The three-day weekend cannot be beat, and so far we’ve definitely taken advantage of all that is available to us through CEA. Thanks to CEA’s guided hike one Friday morning, we were able to see the incredible sights of the city from above. Not only did we have the breathtaking hike, but the chance to catch an early Friday morning flight the next weekend to Switzerland (it’s true what they say about it being easy to fly from country to country here). Switzerland was an amazing experience, even though we ended the trip running through the airport with luggage and nearly missing our flight!
|CEA Collserola hike. Great even on a cloudy day!|
|Swiss Alps. Best view I've ever seen!|
Each early morning breakfast croissant and café on the way to class, each course with new friends, each between-class adventure to see something new, and each weekend with time to embrace a new land are all parts of studying abroad that makes the entire experience truly special!
Kevin Mooney is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain. He is currently a junior at the University of South Carolina.
Read more about our CEA MOJO Bloggers & Photographers.