Why Studying Abroad in Barcelona Changed My Future Plans


Let me just start this blog post with being extremely honest with you…choosing to study abroad in Barcelona was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. I am currently sitting in my little apartment on Carrer d’Arago, listening to the mopeds and taxis drive by, becoming more upset by the minute at the thought of  leaving for the US in a few short weeks. I never thought living in a place like this for four months would have such an impact on me, but it has. Coming here I was extremely nervous; I probably could have thrown up and passed out all at once on my plane ride from JFK to Barcelona. Now, I dread even going to the airport to catch my flight home. Being in Barcelona now has completely changed the way I look at life, especially my future. Will I be back? Yes, of course. But to visit or to live? Live, 100%.  I know now that in the future I want to move back to Spain and live here full time, and this is why.

First of all, living in Spain is just a fun and simple life. Sure, not speaking fluent Spanish is a struggle, and yeah pick-pocketing is definitely a thing, but those are nothing compared to the perks of living here. (Plus I have decided to make a new goal of becoming fluent in Spanish, so when I come back I won’t even need to speak English.) Everyone here is so relaxed and you can tell they really enjoy their life. People here don’t live to work, they work to live. They work hard and play harder, and have the “everything’s going to be fine” mentality. From my experience, no one seems to stress and they just go with the flow… which is something that my stress-case-of-a-college-student self needed to learn.

Here is a view of La Sagrada Familia from the rooftop of Casa Milà on another beautiful day in Barcelona!

Another perk of living in Barcelona, or even Europe in general, is how healthy you feel being here. The food is amazingly fresh; you won’t find that big box of goldfish that you have sitting under your dorm room bed in the Supermercado. Plus, I have to walk everywhere. I am not kidding when I say that I probably walk about five or six miles a day without even trying. I will fully admit that I used to drive to class when it was only a 20 minute walk when I was in the States, but now after living here I could never dream of it. Plus, what’s not to love about the streets in Barcelona? The city is full of  beautiful buildings and art on every corner!

Another perk of living in Barcelona: you aren’t far from beautiful places like this. I took a day trip to Montserrat a few weeks ago, and it was breathtaking!

Living in Barcelona these past few months has changed me so much as a person. I love my life so much more, and I am genuinely content. There is just this aura that Barcelona gives off that makes you want to be a happy and positive person. If you have never heard the song, “Barcelona” by Ed Sheeran, listen to it. The feeling you get listening to that song is truly the feeling you get living here; you’ll just want to dance in the streets.

Lauren Stebbings is a student at Arizona State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain

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