Name: Carlo Pezzana
Hometown: Casale Monferrato, Italy
Education: Senior at Lynn University
Major/Minor: Sports Management major and Event Management minor
Study abroad location: Barcelona, Spain
Why did you choose to study abroad in Barcelona with CEA?
I chose to study abroad in Barcelona because it is a melting pot full of people from everywhere in the world. It has been a long time since I wanted to explore Spain, as the Spanish culture has always attracted me -- with the suave language, the art, the history, those friendly and warm vibes, the food, the music, and the festivals. I was especially interested in learning how to speak Spanish, because I have learned that languages are always a big strength for an individual. It's like having multiple ways of thinking. Also, I attend a university in South Florida, a diverse area where people come from South America and the Caribbean, and Spanish is widely spoken all around. Being able to speak Spanish would be a great advantage for my work career in the future.
Studying abroad in Barcelona allowed me to learn about the educational system and the business world. I saw the differences between ways of working, and understood the approaches, the organization design, and the management styles in Spain. Studying and living in an international community is very helpful for students to gain more career experience. Barcelona is a perfect place for my major, Sports Management, as it is a great city known for its sports teams and I am now able to compare American and European sports systems.
How did CEA help you through the process?
It ran smoothly. CEA sent us emails with detailed information on how to send my application and all the documents required. The CEA team was also very helpful and knowledgeable through our phone conversations. The information on the CEA Account page was also instrumental for me to learn about the program, know what documents to submit, and get ready for the experience.
What advice would you give someone who’s on the fence about studying or interning abroad?
Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Going out of your comfort zone means facing a change and get ready to discover a whole new world. It is crucial to know how to get outside your comfort zone. Every day of your experience is valuable -- so get involved, meet people, explore new places, attend activities and events.
What was one of your favorite classes you took while abroad, and why?
Human Resources Management at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona was my favorite class. The professor was incredible and well-prepared. Through her teachings and a big project to brand ourselves, I changed my mindset in terms of my career path. I understood how to promote and market myself, reflect on significant life events, my personality, my goals, and much more. The summer after my time in Barcelona, when I applied for an internship back in Florida, I did well during the interview and got the job, thanks to the advice and tips I took away from the class.
How has studying abroad impacted your career path or your next steps in your educational journey?
By experiencing another culture, I learned many new things. It is always extraordinary to get to know the culture of a new country -- even the simplest things -- with curiosity and a great attitude. Studying in another country is an extraordinary experience that shapes a person’s life forever. It makes you see reality from different viewpoints. Living in a new place also helps you with networking and teaches you to embrace new habits. The CEA Barcelona experience enabled me to make comparisons between cultures, and it opened my mind. My goal is to adapt to diverse realities better, know how to work with individuals from different backgrounds, and expand my knowledge.
Carlo Pezzana is the Spring 2020 Alumni Ambassador in Barcelona, Spain, and is currently studying at Lynn University.