My name is Helena Benedetto, and I had the privilege of studying abroad in Barcelona this past summer through CEA. While applying to CEA’S program, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had no prior knowledge on how I should prepare myself for my first study abroad experience. I did not know how common it was for students to travel while abroad in Europe, but soon found out how easy it truly was. Within the first 48 hours of my roommates and me being together, we sat down and planned out our excursions for each weekend we were in Spain.
This is a photo of the friends that I made through CEA in Sitges after a day of adventuring around the city.
One of my favorite places that we traveled to was Alicante. It is a small beach town south of Barcelona that only took a short plane ride to get to. We rented an Airbnb that looked out to the view of the ocean and the city, which made the trip worth every penny. Each day, we took a two-minute walk down to the beach to enjoy the water and relax. Being from Arizona, I loved being able to sit by the ocean and listen to the waves. One night we were able to watch an annual parade that consisted of hundreds of people dressed in unique costumes walking down the main streets. My roommates and I loved being able to witness such a different culture and embrace every moment.
This is a picture of Casco Antigua-Santa Cruz. We were walking through Alicante and happened to stumble across this beautiful church. This is one of my favorite pictures from my whole trip, because I thought the light hit the building in such an exquisite way.
Another town that we had the opportunity to visit was Sitges. This was a close second to my favorite. The beach was by far the most beautiful beach I have ever been to in my entire life. The water was crystal blue, and the weather could not have been more perfect. While in Sitges, many of the friends I made through CEA and I went out to a nice dinner and ordered a variety of paella for each of us to try. Enjoying this Spanish cuisine made me want to live in Spain forever. The delicious taste along with the breathtaking views had me in awe the entire time. It is safe to say that I never wanted to leave Sitges.
This was the view we had from our Airbnb in Alicante. Waking up to this every morning made me realize how grateful I am for this opportunity.
After visiting so many places in Spain, I was extremely heartbroken to return back home. I fell in love with each city we visited due to their own uniqueness and special cultural nuances. My friends and I embraced the different traditions, which made each place even more enjoyable. I would not trade any of these memories for the world and could not have asked for a better program to help me through this study abroad experience.
My roommates and I went to the top of the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. The views of the city and the ocean were unbelievable. No photo could truly capture the beauty of these views.
Helena Benedetto is a CEA alumna who studied abroad during Summer 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a student at the University of Arizona.