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Closing Time

As I wrap my final days abroad I can't help but reflect on all the amazing times I have had in Barcelona, and Traveling Europe. I have made so many great friends that hopefully I will stay in touch with for years to come. One of my favorite things about coming abroad was meeting people from all over the U.S. I am from a really small town so it was interesting to meet people from other backroads and see the differences and similarities in us all. I stated in my earlier blogs we are all thrown into this whirlwind that is study abroad; dealing with the stressors that come with traveling frequently, staying on top of academics, and finding time to socialize has brought us very close in such a short period of time. I feel like I know some of these kids better than people I have known my whole life, we have gone through so much together in maybe the fastest 4 months of my life.
 My Spring break crew on our boat tour to Capri.

Being in another country for 4 months, I have become extremely resourceful and become much better at problem solving. Cultural differences and traveling require it. You're always faced with new challenges whether it's as simple as figuring out how to order in a different language, or as complicated as; linking 3 different buses, 1 flight and a train ride to "seamlessly" get you to your destination. You're constantly forced to think on your feet and adapt to new challenges. That is something that I will take with me the rest of my life, and can be very helpful for my future in the workforce.

I have learned a lot from some of the unique classes CEA offers, such as my Brand Design course in which we had to create a new brand. We merged two different companies, creating one mock company in which we created a line of products or services, along with a detailed plan for our business. Creating a target market, finding; retailers, distributors, designing a detailed logo with a tag line and a name for our company. The project took us nearly all semester and was a very cool experience in which I think I gained much more knowledge than I would have from any lecture or exam.

 Shot from Interlaken, Switzerland

Looking back, I don't think I would change a single thing about my study abroad experience, it has been amazing and I think I have maximized my time here. I believe I had a great balance of; academics, traveling, fun, relaxation, and time with friends. I honestly think I will look back at this as one of the greatest times of my life. It sounds cheesy to say, but I often thought to myself while being abroad, "is this real life". The experience we were all able to have is so unique and truly, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
 Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Coming abroad there was a couple things I was not prepared for and wish I knew coming into it. The first, as I said before, IT GOES SO FAST. Four months when you get here feels like it will take forever, however at the end you are wondering where the semester went. So make sure you grasp every opportunity and ever moment. Second, is something that I didn't have a much of an issue with, because I came abroad alone. However I know a lot of people who came here with a  friend or group or friends and didn't branch out. I even found myself hanging out with a select group of people, at some points. I think this is a huge mistake, there are a ton of people from not only all over the United States here but all over the world. You can still hang out with your friends from home when you get home. However some of the people you meet here you may never see again, or see very rarely, often because of the issue of distance. My only suggestion is branch out take chances, you'll thank yourself for it, I know I have.
 Pompeii, Colosseum

Wrapping up my final blog of the semester, I hope you guys got something out of my experiences and tips. Thanks for reading.
 Island of Capri, Italy

Riley D is the Spring 2017 MOJO blogger for Barcelona, Spain. He is currently a Junior at Washington State University studying Finance.

Riley Doerge is the Spring 2017 CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain in Barcelona, Spain, and is currently studying at Washington State University.
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