A post-reflection on my time abroad

Studying abroad was something I always considered doing, but ended up becoming a necessity. I was at a place in my life where the world had become too small and my days felt like they were full of old habits and just getting through the motions.

As much as I prepared, packed, and studied the country of Italy and Greece, I don’t think anything could have taken away the nerves. I did not know anyone else going, did not speak Italian or Greek, and I was pretty sure it was the first thing I had ever done on my own. I sobbed on my flight to JFK, like I’m sure I made the whole plane super uncomfortable. The scariest part of it all was that I knew it wasn’t something that I could just give up halfway through and retreat back to my comfort zone. There was no way to predict what would happen after I got off my flight or what would happen in 6 weeks.

It’s hard to explain how you change through study abroad, but you definitely do. I’m not sure if it’s the freedom of exploring a whole new culture or how adaptable you become when problems arise or how you start recognizing people from your neighborhood and feeling like your part of something completely separate of your life back home.

My favorite thing that I can take away from study abroad is how much I learned about other people. I learned A LOT living with 7 other American girls in a small apartment in Trastevere. I learned about how to get along with your travel partners as you run around Europe on the weekends. I bonded with an old lady in Italian village who spoke no English with only hand gestures and a lot of smiling. Being a tourist is easy, but being a study abroad student requires you to make deep connections with people. Those human connections are what made my travels complete!

So, if I had to give someone any one tip, it would be to jump into your travels with both feet! Meet people, explore places, and run far away from your comfort zone. This can be an experiment to see how much you grow. Make a country 1000 miles away your 2nd home. It’s hard to not let fear take over in an unpredictable situation, but look at the unpredictability as potential!

Arrivederci,

Elshadai Smith-Mensah

Travel agent or super adaptable/independent/confident traveler?

For the five weeks I studied in Rome, I loved getting to see Italy’s different regions, seeing the differences in culture, and trying amazing food. Every weekend was a different part of the boot, but the comfort of coming back home to apartment in Rome was always something I looked forward to.

Before leaving for study abroad, I knew that I wanted to take some time after to travel on my own. I did not know where or if I would do it with others or on my own, I just pushed back my flight a week. The closer I got to my summer session, the more nervous I was about this specific week. During my program, I knew I’d at least have a meal plan, a roof over my head, and all of the resources my program presented on the website. But after my program, I would be on my own…

Throughout my 5 main weeks, I became really good at traveling. I learned how to navigate the bus/tram/metro system. I learned how to schedule time in wisely. I understood the perfect balance between touring and exploring. I’m proud to say that I am now a professional at avoiding tourist-y places to eat. By the time I needed to travel on my own, I felt comfortable enough to follow through it.

My heart was set on going to Greece! I loved the Mediterranean, I grew up in the Greek Orthodox church, and Greece seemed to be one country that was always out of my reach to visit. Two of my roommates were staying for the second session in Rome, so they had downtime and decided to tag along. But before they would agree to anything, they wanted to know how much it would cost (because that’s pretty reasonable.) The only problem was, this trip was not a trip because I had nothing planned, had no idea where in Greece I wanted to go, how to get there, what we would do, where we would stay, etc., etc., etc.

I went to the Pinterest and started reading hundreds of blog posts. I asked peers at my international school where they would recommend going. I researched different tour groups and cruises to see example itineraries. I finally decided that we would visit the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, and the city of Athens, but what would we do? So, I went back to researching once again. Pinterest is SUPER helpful for seeing what the highlights of each place are. Airbnb/Booking.com/Hostelworld are great websites for figuring out cheap housing accommodations. Transportation is tricky depending on what country you are going to, but we would have to at least fly into Greece, so any good discount flight website worked, we just planned our trip around the cheapest flights.

If I wrote about every detail of the best week of my life, this blog post would turn into a book. But the main takeaways that I gained from planning this kind of impromptu trip was that I felt completely independent. After planning every detail from how we are going to get to and from an airport/ferry dock, to where we are going to sleep at night, I feel like I can plan a trip anywhere in the world.

I also learned how to be adaptable. I wish I could say everything went smoothly, but that is not how the world works. We ran into some trouble at airports (future tip: make sure to put your exact name from your passport ***middle name too*** on your plane ticket, to avoid a hefty fine!) and sometimes you realize no one speaks English around you, and you don’t know Greek (future tip: download Google translate.) Normally, I would need about an hour to calm down in a situation like either of those, to clear my head and not panic. When you plan such an extensive trip, you feel adaptable enough to go with the flow, find another option, and really learn from the bumps in the road. Sometimes (all the time) the plan will change, and that’s okay!

Lastly, I felt really confident. To go from not riding the TARC in Louisville because no one had ever showed me to jumping on planes every other day, it really made me grow as a person! I accepted challenges, not running from them. I got wayyy out of my comfort zone, and did things that now make for awesome stories. I got to do things that I had always wanted to do in some of the coolest places in the world like riding ATV’s in Santorini, boating in the Swiss Alps, seeing the 1975 in Milan!!!

When you study abroad, find time to get to see one place you’ve had your heart set on. It may seem like a lot of work or additional expenses, but following through will teach you a lot about yourself and how cool some places in the world are.

Happy travels,

Elshadai Smith-Mensah

Surviving (and Thriving!!!) during your first 24 hours!

Before jumping on my plane to Rome, I thought I was the most prepared person on the planet. I had completed all my paperwork, packed like a professional, read countless blog posts, talked to study abroad alum, and made a Pinterest board with even more information. Sound familiar?

Well, when my plane touched down in Italy, it felt like those months of preparation disappeared and I had no idea what to expect. While jumping into new things is half the fun of studying abroad, here are some tips to make sure you thrive in your first 24 hours!

(Granted, I’m studying in Rome, but hopefully these are applicable to you too!)

  1. Jet lag is not a force to recon with!: Right now you are excited to see the whole world, but I promise, first day you are going to be exhausted from gaining/losing hours. Try your best to adjust as soon as possible! The best advice for this is to change your phone’s time to the country you are going to. This way, you have some sense of what you should be doing and when. If the people in your new country are asleep, you should be too! Also avoid naps, it will just throw your whole body clock off!
  2. Bring a good amount of cash with you (and small bills if possible!): On your first day, you’ll want to explore and eat on-the-go. In Rome, cashiers are reluctant to take your card, and if you try to pay for an 2euro espresso with a 50 euro bill, they’ll be mad at you. Have a few 5-10 euro bills and you will be set!
  3. Find the comfiest shoes you own and plan on wearing them 99% of the time: get ready to walk A LOT! You’ll be so mesmerized walking around your new city that you won’t even notice that you’ve walked 5 miles…. But only if you wear comfortable shoes! I never wore Chaco’s before this trip, but now they are my prized possession.
  4. New outfit, new person!: Pack a set of clothes in your carry on! While this is good advice, just in case you lose your luggage, I can guarantee that you will be tired, stinky, and a little overwhelmed once you get off your plane. Changing into new clothes will make you feel ready to take on the city!
  5. Become a sponge: you are going to be exposed to a whole new culture in a foreign country, and you’ll absolutely love it! Be open and learn, because this can really set the tone of your whole trip!

Ciao and happy travels!

Elshadai Smith-Mensah

What to do in Europe’s major cities: Paris, Rome, and Venice

 

 

Paris—

Paris was on my ‘must-see’ list when abroad. After looking at all of my weekends and planning out which cities I would travel to and when, Paris landed on the shortest weekend, 3 days: two for travel, and one for sight-seeing. It seemed like a stretch, but there’s a reason why it’s called a ‘can’t-miss’ list. I booked my train ticket with a friend, and the two of us headed out to conquer Paris in a day. We arrived the Friday evening to a very busy train station. We were heavily warned about thieves and bag-slicers, so we held our bags close as we wandered through the station. We had done some previous research about metro passes (something everyone should do if you are looking to get around a city easily), and were able to find the machine to get them. Stepping out in to the street, well, it is not the Paris we expected. Wave after wave of stench hit our noses as we navigated to our Airbnb. We were a little shaken at the shock of what we thought Paris was going to be like vs. our first impressions. However, we dusted ourselves off, threw on some deodorant, and took a train to see the Eiffel Tower light up at 10pm. We found a shop that made cheesy baguettes stuffed with hot dogs, took them to-go, and found a nice spot on the lawn in front of the Tower. There, we had a nice time seeing the sun go down, the Tower light up, and the lights being to sparkle. It was quite a sight. The next day, we utilized the train and bus system to hit the Palace of Versailles, The Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge, the outside of The Louvre, the Notre Dame, and a second visit to the Eiffel Tower. We walked from the Moulin Rouge to The Louvre, which totaled about 45 minutes. It was there that we got to see what we thought Paris ‘really’ looked like: triangular stone buildings and terraces with flowers growing out of them. It was beautiful. We realized that movies would only show the historical parts of Paris, not the modernized ones. By the end of the day, we were exhausted from the amount of traveling we did in a single day. Our wallets, however, were not. A cavet of t-tickets, meaning 10 travel passes on either the subways or buses, cost a mere 14 euros. The banana and Nutella crepes we had cost 5 euros. That was about the extent of our expenses, excluding the Airbnb. It is very easy to do Paris in a day, on a budget. I recommend visiting Paris at least once in your life, but it is not a city I would want to spend more than 2 or 3 days in, simply because it feels just a bit too large.

Rome—

I have visited Rome once before in high school, and knew I would be back again some day. The high school tour, however, was a bus tour, and all of our meals were set up and paid for. Traveling abroad with a friend is much different. We decided to see both Rome and Venice in a single 4 day weekend. Rome is a 13 hour train ride from our city in Austria, and only 7 hours from Venice. We found the perfect overnight train that would take us from Austria to Rome, and arrive at about 10am. A teacher on the program advised us that the two-tiered bus tours of the city are definitely worth the money if you can haggle it to a decent price. We arrived at the Roma Termini, one of Europe’s largest train stations, after a long night of barely sleeping on the train. After purchasing a metro pass to get from the main city to our Airbnb, we were approached by a man attempting to sell us passes for the Roma Big Bus City Tour. I was hesitating because I wanted to drop our stuff off at the Airbnb before touring Rome, but he lowered the price to only 20 euros, so it was impossible to refuse. We saw all of the ancient sights in a matter of an hour, and got off at St. Peter’s Basilica and did some souvenir shopping. With your student ID, you can get into the Sistine Chapel Museum for only 8 euro (so make sure to bring that cardinal card abroad!). Later, we got back on the bus and cruised around Rome some more. We made sure to stop at the Trevi Fountain to throw another coin into the water so that we will come back in the future. Ended the day with some more gelato and fresh grapes. The next day, we ran into some issues with the public transportation system…a ‘strike’ kind of issue. We decided we would just suck it up and walk the hour and a half to the train station rather than paying for a taxi. We got to see a different, non-touristy side to Rome so that was pretty cool. With the help of the train station staff, we were able to find our train to Venice with only 5 minutes to spare. Talk about a crazy way to end our time in Rome! Final thoughts: I love Rome with all of my heart and would love to live there some day. The history intermingled with daily life is truly unique, and if you get the chance to travel, Rome is a MUST.

Venice—

The issues with the strikes in Rome carried its way to Venice, because we struggled to find a way to our Airbnb from the train station, and we weren’t wanting to walk 2 hours to it. Eventually we gave in and found a taxi to take us. We were too tired to head back into the main city at 8pm, so we stayed nestled in our Airbnb and got some much needed sleep. In the morning, we found our way to the bus and got a ticket to the main islands. There, we just wandered Venice all day. This city isn’t one you typically learn about in history class, so we weren’t pressed to visit any main monuments or structures. Instead, we took pictures in the alleyways, crossed over bridges, and waved to the gondolas as they passed by. It was a very relaxing day, up until we made the mistake of passing through San Marco’s Square, where there seemed to be thousands of tourists packed into the small alleys. Once we got out of there, we grabbed some pasta at a restaurant along the river and enjoyed the last minutes of daylight in Venice. It was absolutely beautiful, and contrary to rumors, it did not smell in the slightest. Venice is an incredible city, and one that I would love to revisit someday.

 

Mandy Paganetto, ’17

B.S. in Marketing and Sport Administration

Reflecting on my Time In Italy

When I decided to study abroad, I had no idea the impact that the experience would have on my life. I was certainly hesitant about going, because I am always unsure about the unknown. But as soon as I got there, I felt at home. The friends I made, the places I got to see, and all of the food I got to eat made for some of the best memories in my life. Here are my top four favorite places I got to visit while I was there:

  1. Rome, Italy

Rome was an amazing experience. I got to see all of the things that people say you have to see in Rome, which included the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and Vatican City. My friends and I were able to see all of these things in a day, which has hard and tiring, but we did it! Those were all amazing to experience, and I can’t wait to go back to see everything else Rome has to offer.

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2. Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, was probably my favorite part of Italy. Cinque Terre  is a string of old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. There are five towns that you can visit along this coastline, each with various types of hiking experiences. It was breathtaking, and cool to see what small village life was like. There were trains that could take you to each of the cities, and they were fast and efficient if you didn’t feel like walking to each of the cities

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3. Genoa, Italy

Genoa was a beautiful town that was rich with history and beautiful scenery. The town had very narrow streets so it was rare to see people driving cars; most people drove mopeds. There were beautiful churches, and the all of the people there were friendly! I loved it. We also got to try focaccia, which is a typical Italian dish from this region.

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4. Alba, Italy

Alba was one of the first trips that we went on, and one of the most memorable. This region is known for being the gourmet capital of the Piedmont region, and they weren’t wrong. Nutella was also founded in this region, which was a cool fact that I was unaware of. The wine here is also supposed to be some of the best in Italy. It was cool to see a region in Italy that did not have a lot of tourists everywhere as well.Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and nature

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Overall, my experience in Italy was one for the books. It was an amazing life changing experience, and it completely opened my eyes about the world around us. I am looking forward to my next international experience, but I know that Italy will always be on my mind where ever I may go next.

Ciao for now!

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What you need to know before Traveling: A Beginner’s Guide

So you finally bit the bullet and decided to look at various study abroad programs…that’s great! Studying abroad will truly change your life, and that of course, is coming from someone who spent a summer month in Europe. It can be both exciting and overwhelming, browsing through all of the available programs via the business school’s studying abroad website. There are beautiful programs in London, Australia, and of course, Italy. Those were places that I was looking for a program, almost strictly because of my comfort level. 2 out of those 3 places speak English, while the other…well, come on, it’s ITALY! My first piece of advice, look outside of your comfort zone. I ended up in Austria, of all places. I decided to look past country boarders, and look into what the specific program provided. Mine, for instance, allowed and encouraged students to travel on the weekends. Because of this, I was able to visit Munich, Paris, Rome, and Venice. I also got to stay in a homestay with a woman who spoke only German. This can seem like a turn off, but it allowed for complete submersion into the culture, something I craved.

When you are abroad, you will have good days and bad days. Some days can seem really great: the sun is shining, the temperature is great, the locals are friendly, and the meal is correct. However, not every day is like this, and that is perfectly okay. You’ll get caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella, the language barrier will cause a fight with a store owner, or what you thought was schnitzel is actually chicken liver soup. Things happen. But it’s up to you to deal with how you react to it. Some days, I just needed to go home after dinner rather than try to stay out later with the group, or I needed to separate from everyone, get my own gelato, and soak in the country by myself. Turn a bad situation into a better one (and chicken liver soup really isn’t that bad…it tastes like a meatball!).

My last piece of advice is to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. If you do select a program that allows independent travel (highly recommended), then you will need to get used to navigating the extensive train system through Europe. You will be knees-to-knees with strangers, passive aggressively fighting for luggage room, and have to do the occasional sprint to the connecting train. The best part? All train-traveling Europeans experience these same issues, so you’re not alone! Try the local food, check out new restaurants, and treat yourself to gelato. For some, it could be your first and only trip abroad, so you will want to make the most of it. For others who plan on visiting again, make this your opportunity to trial-test the train system, ordering at a foreign restaurant, and behaving as a local to make your future trips even more successful. Have a great time, you will love every second.

-Mandy Paganetto, ’17

B.S. in Marketing and Sport Administration

 

Traveling to Other Cities While Studying Abroad.

While studying abroad one of the things you should think about is to travel to the surrounding cities or towns near your location. In my stay in Shanghai, I have had the opportunity to visit some of the beautiful cities around it, as well as Beijing and Hong Kong.

  • Xitang Water Village, Jiaxing City: cobbled streets, old buildings, bridges arching over canals, rowing boats lingering on the river and locals singing folks songs or selling traditional food are some of the features and charms of this place. Besides entering into a deep part of the Chinese culture, here you can try exotic foods as well as experience a gondola ride. It is only about one and half hour from Shanghai and there are busses leaving for Xitang Bus Station from 7:20 a.m. to 6:30 p.m every day.

Xitang Water Village

  • Hangzhou, Zhejiang: as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal, the city is located on the lower reaches of the Qiantang River in southeast China, a superior position in the Yangtze Delta and only three hours far from Shanghai by bus. Some of the touristic attractions that I visited in this city are: Lingyin Temple, which is one of the largest and most important Buddhist Temples of China; “Fei Lai Feng” or “The Flying Peak, a 209 meters’ tall limestone mountain that shelters about 330 Buddha stone statues; and Leifeng Padoga, the oldest colorful bronze pagoda in China that allow tourists to appreciate the nearby Lingyin Temple, enjoy the landscapes of West Lake, and even see the city of Hangzhou from a distance.                                                  Lingyin Temple
  • Anji, Zhejiang: It is an eco-tourism destination which is about 4 to 5 hours from Shanghai city, and about 1½ hours from Hangzhou by bus. This town is an impressive Bamboo Forest which gives tourist the opportunity to hike and interact with nature. Nowadays, the forest is called “Anji’s Grand National Bamboo Forest”. Another attraction is the tea gardens where you can see all the process of making tea and at the same time buy some at reasonable prices.

Anji’s Grand National Bamboo Forest

  • Beijing: s the capital of the People’s Republic of China and the world’s third most populous city proper. This city resumes all the history, traditions and politics of China, so it has many important places to visit: The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs and other. Visiting this city is not really expensive, but be prepare for the weather, the pollution can make the temperature worst.

The Great Wall

  • Hong Kong: one of the world’s leading financial, banking and trading centers. It is made up of four parts: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands. The prosperous island is the center of economy, politics, entertainment and shopping with its southern part noted for sea shores and bays. Kowloon is another flourishing part where Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok are the most popular destinations. The New Territories and Outlying Islands are ideal places to experience a peaceful and natural holiday. I made a weekend trip to this city from Thursday to Sunday and I had the opportunity to visit some touristic places: Hong Kong Observation Desk: Sky100, Hong Kong Disneyland Park, Avenue of Stars, South Bay Beach and some streets in the center of Yau Ma Tei Island. It was a really cool trip and I wish I could have stay longer but it’s important to consider that Hong Kong is really expensive compare to the rest of China.

South Bay Beach

I hope this information will help when planning future trips to china. See you in my next and last post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Cultural Differences: France vs. US

Air Conditioning

This first difference can be seen all over Europe, but was especially noticeable when it hit 100 degrees one week when I was in Paris.  Majority of stores and residences do not have air conditioning because of the concern for the environment.  While it can be easy for people to go on about their day without AC, for those who are accustomed to it (like Americans), it can be a bit more challenging.  To survive, keep finding constant ways to be cool and keep hydrated.  The worst of it was not being prepared of being unable to escape the heat!

Speaking the Language

France has the stereotype of being stuck up and rude when it comes to interacting with Americans.  From what I have found, this is only because the French take such pride in their language and want to keep it pure with in their country.  Since I knew some French, I always started out with speaking the language rather than English.  There was a world of difference in the service I got when I spoke English verse when I spoke French.  Even if it is only a few words, they appreciate the fact that you are trying to learn their culture while you are in their country.

Store Hours

In France, it is custom for a business not to be open one day of the week to give workers a day off.  This goes for everything- grocery stores, cafés, even the Louvre, so you can imagine how confused I was when I arrived in Paris on a Sunday and was unable to buy groceries.  I learned this lesson quickly and from then on always checked the store hours of a business before I went to shop there.

Public Bathrooms

Rarely will you find a pubic bathroom any place in Paris, and if you do- it probably won’t be free.  Located on streets near bigger attractions like the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame you can find public restrooms that cost usually no more than 1 euro.  But make sure you are ready to wait in line because each time a person uses the bathroom, the toilet does a 20 second self-cleaning process before the next person can use it.My strategy to solving this problem?  Use the bathroom whenever you get the chance- even if you don’t have to go.  Before I ever left a restaurant or my dorm I made sure to go to avoid any emergencies!

Transportation

After using the Paris metro for 6 weeks, I can say that I will miss it.  Some parts more than others but the quickness and easy use of the metro gave me the ability to get to anywhere I wanted to in Paris.  Everyone uses the metro and bus system in Paris (no one owns cars!!) because of its effortless use and vast majority with in the city.  The metro was built so that there would be a stop with in walking five minutes from each other.  So, if you ever get lost in Paris, just start walking in any direction and eventually you will find a metro stop with a map of where you a

Trains, in general are a very popular in France.  There are probably at least 5 large trains stations within Paris that will take you anywhere you want to go in Europe.  They are very easy to use and navigate and you can hop right on literally five minutes before the train leaves.  The agility and simple use of transportation not just in France but in Europe overall, makes in very easy to travel to new places.

 

Down and Dirty!!!

As the first week in Maynooth, Ireland ended, I became fully adjusted to the beautiful scenery. I was nervous that I would be experiencing everything alone, but I quickly became so close to everyone in my program. At Maynooth University, we have a north and south campus; the north campus being more modern. However, our South campus is deemed to have been part of the oldest University in Ireland, and has so much history, and interesting haunted stories. Fun Fact: Harry Potter’s famous Hogwarts Dinning hall is based off a dining hall in this University!

On our first weekend, however, we got down and dirty in Causey Irish Farm. Starting our day making delicious Irish Soda Bread, and watching a Shepard Dog heard sheep amazed me, and I even had the chance to milk a cow! I can finally check that off the bucket list! Learning a traditional Irish dance: Cèili, I learned so much about authentic Irish Culture. It was so much fun that we ended up dancing a traditional dance later that day in a small pub, and locals joined in! I loved immersing myself into their fun culture.

But what was the best part? Of course it was getting down and dirty! We jumped in a bog! For a little background, I will tell you what a bog is and how it is formed! A long time ago, these areas of land use to be ice glaciers, and as they melted over time, they turned into large areas of thick muddy ground used for turf. Apparently this area is as cold as 36 degrees Fahrenheit. I know what you’re thinking. That does not sound fun. I thought that too, but you will never know unless you try! It was amazing, and really allowed me to bond with all the great people in my program.

Embracing the farming culture of Ireland has taught me two things. Farming practices are not all that different around the world, besides the fact that we all harvest different crops, and cultivate and grow different things! It also taught me the world also differs in many ways through aspects as simple as bread making and dance! Trying different things can be scary or uncomfortable, but once you let yourself get into the culture you will be so glad you did!

The best part about my experience in Ireland is learning unique lingo and seeing all the pretty scenery! It is breathtaking! There is so much history, and I love learning about events and discoveries that I was never exposed to back home! The Irish are truly a friendly people, and they are more than happy to help you out as far as directions, and nice restaurants to go to! My next stop is Galway off the coast, and I am sure to see some beautiful views from the beach to the Cliffs of Moher! Stay tuned for more to come!

Sláinte!

 

 

First weeks in Barcelona

For the past four weeks I have done so much has been hard to get myself to write a blog post because it feels like we are never sitting down and we are always out exploring this great city. Over the course of my trip so far I have been to not only all around Barcelona, but to multiple other places in Spain and even into the south of France. Since I have visited so many places I figure that I will recap each place and show pictures of the many places that I have been. The first picture is the view from my apartment. We live by Parc Joan Miro and Plaza Catalunya, and this really cool shopping center that was once a bull fighting arena. This is a really cool area with good food and even an awesome art museum to visit.

A few days after we arrived I went to La Sagrada Familia, the church designed by Gaudi. This was an incredible experience. The pictures don’t do justice on how big this actually is. We learned about the history of the church as well as all the symbolism and attention to detail that was put into every aspect of the design. They are not even finished with La Sagrada Familia yet, but they have plans to be done by 2026, celebrating 100 years after Gaudi’s death.

Next me and my roommates decided to explore the Labyrinth Park of Horta which was an interesting experience. The Labyrinth wasn’t as large as we expected it to be, but we still ended up getting lost a few times and taking the wrong way a lot. We ended up making it through and it was a pretty cool little place to visit sort of away from the city.

The next big thing that I did, and it is probably one of my favorite things is visit Park Guell and Bunker. Park Guell is a great place to see the city of Barcelona, and get a great picture on a bench designed by Gaudi. Although we didn’t pay to get the picture on the bench we still got a good view of the city, but then we continued over to Bunker, which was an even better view of the entire city. Bunker is just an old bunker on top of hill at the edge of the city where you can get a great view of the whole city, and we stayed up there for an hour just taking in the views. The first picture is one of Park Guell and the second one is a picture of Bunker.

My next activity will be a trip to the South of France I will end my blog here and write about my explorations outside of Barcelona in my next post!