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University of Oklahoma

Barcelona, Spain

Spring 2020

Najwa Baqdounes, Alumni Ambassador

Alumni Ambassadors

1. How did your study abroad experience shape you?

When students who studied abroad say that "it completely changed their life," they were not kidding! After just a few months of living in another city away from friends, family, and my normal daily schedule, I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and enjoy the daily life I was adjusting to. Many skills and character traits that I developed abroad I was able to apply to school and work opportunities when I came back home. My communication skills, service management, and growing understanding of cultural diversity, has helped me with interviews with potential employers and even benefits me in my casual conversations. Having the opportunity to study abroad taught me how to be more appreciative and initiative in my daily work and personal life.

2. What was your experience with the local culture?
Although I expected to be shy and intimidated by the local community around me due to the language barrier and difference in culture, I immediately felt welcomed and excited to be abroad. I went from feeling lonely the first few days to feeling completely comfortable and outgoing around the community. I would have never guessed I would be as lucky as I was to find a large group of local friends so easily who were never shy to show me around at their favorite local spots. Then, I realized that all of my fellow abroad students were just as comfortable and welcomed as I was. I will never forget the friendships I made with everyone from the local convenient store owners to local friends and their families.

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