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Katelin Nhiep

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: economics and political science major; business administration minor
Program: API- Summer Business and International Studies at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Location: barcelona, spain
Term: summer 2023


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
Not only was academia a main focus; however, I wanted to immerse myself in a country that is not a replicate of the United States-- For example, if I were to study abroad I feel like I would not have faced much adversity or small hiccups considering that they speak English and the food/culture is almost identical in certain ways. I chose to study abroad in Spain because it is a continuing developing country with morals and ethics that I was willing to adjust and learn to. On top of that, the geographic location was gorgeous-- mountain, city, and beach all in one. There were numerous historical sights and modern art. The music and lifestyles are vibrant in Barcelona, Spain. Furthermore, UAB offered courses that were interesting such as architecture, cross-cultural management, international business, etc.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that it is okay to be uncomfortable. I especially ended the program with knowing the fact that going out of your comfort zone means there will be more opportunities, chances to learn, and experiences you'd never think to be experiencing. You learn to adapt and be resilient, get over minor fears, and accept cultures with an open mind.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory would be all the lifelong friends I have made from abroad. Not only was I getting the chance to experience the Spanish culture, but I got to experience what other students from the west and north coast were like. We shared ideas, lingo, and culture among one another while learning a completely new one! The most wholesome moment was when we went to a rooftop restaurant as our farewell dinner, it overlooked the Sagrada Familia and the entire city of Barcelona-- a view that embraces the city, beach, and mountain.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Be open-minded! You're in a new culture-- respect it. When foreigners enter the United States, they aren't throwing public misfits about how odd things are to them Everyone has different morals and values. Learn from your mistakes rather than staying stubborn and feeling homesick.


How do you identify?
Student of color, First Generation College Student, Scholarship Recipient


Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
I have had a couple of uncomfortable comments regarded towards me here and there but it did not stop me from making the best out of my time abroad


Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
As an Asian American, racism is everywhere. Keep your head high, it will only take a toll on you if you let it!


If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
Your program coordinator and abroad friends <3