I think that as a first generation college hispanic student it’s important to share my experiences about studying abroad as reference for similar potential study abroad students.
My situation is a tricky one. Not only if I am a first generation student, but I come from a single mom, therefore the resources were not just available with one parent. In addition, I am a double major, Spanish and Chemistry, with a pre-med track. Given my situation, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to study abroad. I didn’t have the time, money, or other resources… but I realize that there is no good time to do things and anything is possible if you work for it. For me studying abroad was something I wanted to do that I didn’t let my obstacles get in my way.
In terms of money, there are many scholarship opportunities. I think it’s important to talk to the international program. They gave me various opportunities and paths to take given my situation. On top of that, I did my research as well. My program offered various scholarships that helped me accumulate money to be able to go. There is always opportunities, it just requires effort to find them.
Also I thought I wouldn’t be able to go because of my heavy schedule. As a pre-med I didn’t know if was an option. I was concerned that I wouldn’t have time finish both majors, especially since I didn’t have any chemistry class on my schedule abroad (this was due to the fact that most university courses in Barcelona are in catalán). Even then, I was able to do it. Abroad I am completing most of my spanish major (except one class) and most of my gen-eds. Everyone is different, but it’s definitely possible to study abroad as a double major.
In terms of my experience while studying abroad I think I can say it was fun and different. I have hispanic backgrounds and it was definitely a different experience abroad. I find hard to explain my experience here so far, but if I could sum it up it consisted a lot of people thinking I was from here and then realizing I wasn’t. Funny thing is I even made it a game to see how far I could make it somewhere until someone realized I wasn’t from Barcelona… most of the time it was little words that gave it away. Like saying adios instead of adeo (catalán version). I think that my experience was different because not only do they speak castellano (spanish), but also catalán. Therefore, I had a challenge to understand the heavier accents and different use of words for different things.
I enjoyed having catalán. There was a new perspective of a new language. I was learning new words for things I would call differently. I was using vosotros, which is not something I typically use in my spanish. I was very lost various times trying to understand a conversation in catalán, but I was learning. I just really enjoyed having the mixture of the languages.
Studying abroad in Barcelona was not easy for me, but that’s why I chose particularly to go here. The culture and language is so different and I was able to be challenged. I liked coming to Barcelona with my backgrounds because not only did it help, but I was able to take my culture and learn a different culture within the hispanohablantes countries.
I didn’t know what type of pictures to add. These pictures might seem random, but they are some I have taken recently.