Hello, my name Cansu Zor and I am a senior, political science student at Binghamton University. I participated in the study abroad program in Barcelona in Fall 2016.
I chose to study abroad in Barcelona because I had been there five years earlier and really loved the atmosphere of the whole city. I also had very basic knowledge of Spanish, so I wanted to improve my language skills.
Before I studied abroad, I thought studying abroad was a very costly activity with the program fees and the living expenses but I realized I was wrong. There are many scholarship opportunities while cautious budgeting can really help with the financial worries. What surprised me the most during my study abroad experience was the amount of people I got to meet from all over the world. In my house alone, there were girls from England, Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Uruguay. Everyone I met knew English which made communication much easier, although we did not hesitate to speak in Spanish as much as we could.
The most rewarding experience about my study abroad was that I felt independent. Here I was living across the world from my parents on my own. Although it was hard at first, later on I got very used to it. My apartment was in the Gothic neighborhood, which is the center of Barcelona. I lived very close to the beach as well. There was always something to do in Barcelona, or an interesting event going on. My favorite event was the La Merce Festival, which took place last week of September. During this festival, there were many concerts, art and dance events that were free to the public. Every inch of the city came alive and it was thrilling to be a part of it. From seeing human towers and giant figures parading down the city streets to the fire festival, I saw things that were special to Barcelona. Even if there were no specific events, hearing the street guitar player everyday on my way home from school was very relaxing and full of positive energy.
My favorite part of living in Barcelona was being able to walk everywhere. The beach, my school, and most famous sights of the city were all a walking distance away from me. This motivated me to be more active and to go exploring on the daily basis. Plane tickets to other countries were very cheap, especially if planned earlier on during the semester. I got to visit Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Morocco, Czech Republic, and Hungary. The amount of people I met from all over the world was endless and I still keep in touch with some of them. Overall, I loved every minute of studying abroad. It was definitely a life time experience and would highly suggest it to any student who is looking to add on something exciting to their college experience.
Cansu Zor, a political science major, who studied abroad in Barcelona in fall 2016