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Living Healthy While Studying Abroad

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Health is something that so many students overlook during their time abroad. It can be so easy to forget to eat healthy, sleep 8 hours a night, exercise on a regular basis, and pretty much anything else a physician were to tell you during that annual appointment. So many students, myself included, realize that their time is limited and therefore feel the need to stay out till dawn, book 6am or red-eye flights, walk 20 miles around a new city every weekend, AND make time for late-night studying to make sure they pass their CEA classes. In the end, it never turns out well. Eventually, everything catches up with you, and your glamorous time abroad turns into multiple doctor appointments or weekends spent nursing a cold.
 A view from Montserrat, one of my favorite hiking destinations right outside of the city!

At CEA Barcelona, this habitual student trend has been discovered. From the time students land and attend their Health and Safety Orientation to their last day on-site, the Barcelona staff works to integrate student activities with anything that will promote wellbeing while studying abroad.This can range from a 4 hour hike from the Barcelona city center to the top of Tibidabo, competitive soccer leagues, gym recommendations, sunrise running groups, a daytrip to the Pyrenees Mountains to take a break from the city and breathe in the great outdoors, and so much more.
 Muevete night at Zumba with some of the CEA Barcelona team!

Once a semester, the CEA Barcelona staff hosts their traditional Wellness Week, which concentrates on promoting the wellness of students here on-site. It usually takes place about midway through the semester, the time when most students start to feel their new lives catching up to them. The staff organizes activities and “perks” for the students like massages, fruit baskets at the front desk, healthy cooking recipes, and Muevete, or planned group sessions that include boot camp workouts, Zumba and spinning classes, etc.

Since being a CEA Barcelona student myself over two years ago, Wellness Week and the health activities like Muevete, stand out in my mind. I remember the staff’s energy and determination to motivate and influence us students. Studying abroad is tough, especially the first time abroad, and it can be challenging to stay mentally and physically healthy. There are so many things that are thrown at you at once; new friends, culture shock, all of Europe at your fingertips and the egging influence of $50 flights. Everyone is so excited to enjoy this new experience they planned for so long, it's easy to forget about yourself and your well-being.

Don’t get caught in the whirlwind that is study abroad. Take some time for yourself and your well-being! It will only make your experience as a student that much better.

Ana G. is the CEA Barcelona On-Site Ambassador. She is a CEA alumna from the Spring 2014 semester in Barcelona,  and Summer 2015 semester in Dublin, and a recent graduate of The University of St. Thomas. 



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