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Alisha Kleinhammes

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Global studies major, Environmental studies and Health and Society double minors
Program: IES Abroad
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Term: Summer 2021


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, especially after COVID-19 hit. I wanted a life-changing experience and I wanted to meet new friends through the program. I selected the IES Barcelona Summer program because I wanted to be able to use my Spanish and I never went to Spain and really wanted to experience the Spanish culture first hand after spending so many semesters studying Spanish.


What did you learn about yourself?
I love being active and really want to live in a city because I loved the fact that Barcelona is a walkable city. I became more confident in my independence and learned how I am able to adapt to new situations relatively easily as well as the ease at making new friends. I found myself more during this experience by becoming more confident in who I am and what I am capable of.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
I loved all of the IES Discover day trips, specifically I loved going to Figueres because I took an art history class during my time abroad and we learned about Dalí and his childhood. It was so cool to visit his museum and visit where he grew up and see the cities that inspired a lot of his early artwork.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
If you're worried about not making friends or being alone while studying abroad because you don't know anyone beforehand in your program, don't worry! Everyone is going through the exact same experience and want to make friends so everyone is very welcoming and kind. I made some of the closest friends during my study abroad program who I am still friends with and will continue to be close with in the future. As for being homesick and being far from your family, scheduling FaceTime calls each week and staying in touch helps so much! But also keep in mind that this is a life changing experience and know that your family and friends will be waiting for you when you get back home. Try your best to enjoy your time while you're abroad and know that the more time that passes, the more comfortable you will be in your study abroad program!