Alex Apelt, Alumni Ambassador
1. How has your study abroad experience shaped you today?
The program has definitely made me realize how much I enjoy speaking and learning other languages. I've lived in many places and traveled quite a bit but Barcelona was by far one of the most linguistically diverse cities I've ever been in; I spoke English with my roommates, Spanish on the street, Italian at the pizzeria, German with my friends, and tried my best to speak Arabic with all the Moroccans.
2. If you learned another language while you were abroad, what tips and tricks can you offer future study abroad students?
The most important step if you're completely new to a language is to simply learn basic pronunciation for the first week to ensure that if you read something for the first time you'll be saying it correctly. After that, you really just need to speak fearlessly. Don't worry about antagonizing the locals or embarrassing yourself, you can't learn a language if you don't try.