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Indiana University Bloomington

Barcelona, Spain

Spring 2020

Scott Budkofsky, Alumni Ambassador

Alumni Ambassadors
1. What were ways you found to experience the local culture?
Interacting with the people of Barcelona was my favorite part of studying abroad. I was able to develop relationships with many local people throughout the semester. I became friendly with the door-woman, Carmen, who worked in my building, saying "Hola, buenos dias" every morning and occasionally making some small talk. Carmen recommended two of her favorite restaurants to me, both of which I never would have thought to try without her recommendation. I also became friendly with the people who worked at a bakery on my block and the Italian family who owned and operated my favorite restaurant in Barcelona. We would complement each other's outfits and wave to each other when passing by. Furthermore, some of the conversations I would have with taxi drivers were hilarious. From teaching one driver about baseball, to arguing over the rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, and much more, there was never a dull conversation. The funniest response I got was from a taxi driver who was over 70 years’ old who claimed that the clubs were his favorite part of the whole city! The interactions with the local people of Barcelona were definitely a highlight of my study abroad experience.

2. What was your favorite course abroad?
My favorite course that I took while abroad was the Cross-Cultural Management course. This course taught me how to appreciate the differences between my own culture and the foreign culture which I was surrounded by as well as all other cultures around the world. I learned how to utilize the differences between myself and the culturally diverse people with whom I interact and to learn and benefit from them. As opposed to viewing cultural differences as a barrier, I learned how to use them as a tool.

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