Office of International Programs

Mariah Callendar

Mariah Callendar
Universitat de Autonoma Barcelona, Spain
Spring 2013

I find it extremely hard to come up with the right words to describe my time abroad. Amazing, incredible, fascinating, and unbelievable is what I find myself using the most, but ultimately it was indescribable. That being said I will attempt to explain my experience abroad. In the spring of 2013 I studied abroad in the most beautiful city I’ve ever been to, Barcelona. I am a Business Administration major and was able to learn so much more about international business and marketing while I was abroad, but the experience itself is where I received the majority of the knowledge I came home with. When you study abroad everything becomes brand new to you again, it’s like learning how to walk for the first time and the satisfaction of being able to navigate around a new city where there is minimal English spoken is a huge success in itself. I take the most pride in the everyday experiences I faced and was able to overcome in the new city I called home.

While in Barcelona, I lived in an apartment with three other girls and lived very close to the dorms, where the rest of the students lived. I made some of the best friends I have ever had and continue to keep in touch with them. Being a business major and only studying Spanish in high school, it was all very new to me and at times hard to keep up, but I am a firm believer that there is no better way to learn a language than being placed in the middle of a city where it is spoken constantly. I learned an incredible amount of vocabulary and by the end of the semester I was able to hold full conversations in Spanish.

I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to study abroad, but it wouldn’t have been made possible without the Kaufman family and their generosity. I have always had to work very hard for everything I wanted and money hasn’t always come easy, so when I learned that I had received the scholarship I was in tears. Once I was in Europe I knew that I needed to take full advantage of this new adventure because I may never be back. In the short four months that I studied in Barcelona, I was able to travel to London, Paris, Florence, Dublin, the Canary Islands and Ibiza, which is a small Island off the coast of Spain. A friend who was also studying in Barcelona had informed me of the cheapest and most efficient ways to travel and I took full advantage. I was so fortunate to be able to see all of these different amazing places, but all in all Barcelona was my favorite place to be and I still consider it to be my home. Hopefully these photos can help paint a picture of my time abroad. I hope you can enjoy them as much as I do.