About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Human Development and Family Studies
Program: IES Abroad
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Term: Fall 2021
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
From the time I got accepted into UNC, studying abroad had been a goal of mine. I selected my program based on the costs, courses, and weather. Barcelona has been my dream destination since I was a kid (thanks to The Cheetah Girls 2), and the opportunity to travel there was right in my face so I had to take it! I also wanted to challenge myself by living in a Spanish country to build my dialogue and immerse myself in their culture.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I really enjoy being pushed out of my comfort zone, because that is where the best things happen. My experience also helped me realize how strong I really am.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory from my program was my trip solo to Madrid. It was my first Thanksgiving away from home, so I wanted to do something to make it remarkable. I got a small tattoo on my foot as a memory. I felt so independent and free because it was my first time traveling outside of my host country alone. It was an adventure to explore Madrid on my own.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Enjoy yourself and live in the moment. It is very much normal to feel homesick or battle feelings of fear. FaceTime your friends and family, but try not to get caught up with what is going on back home. Your time abroad will fly by so be sure to make the most of it. Always remember that you are there for a good time, not a long time.
How do you identify?
Student of color, Scholarship Recipient, Rural County Resident
Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
As a student of color, I received may looks and stares; especially on the metro. However, I did not allow that to bother me. Instead, I viewed in a positive way.
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
Be confident in who you are, without worry of how others may view you.
If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
I found great support in my fellow friend that I met while abroad whom is also a student of color.