Monday, January 27, 2020

My friends I met on my field study trip to Barcelona. Here we are at Park Güell

I had the opportunity to take some incredible classes including windsurfing in the Mediterranean, Spanish cuisine and cooking, and Spanish dance. These classes were in addition to my Spanish language and chemistry courses and were by far the most fun. Most programs offer fun electives and I say, “why not?” In my case, these classes were low-stress and were only graded on participation which made them a great way to learn new skills and have fun doing it! In my program (USAC Valencia) we had class Monday-Thursday, freeing up long weekends to travel. Something I did not expect on my experience abroad was being so busy. Between classes and electives during the week and traveling Thursday nights to Sunday nights, I experienced a new type of busy schedule. Even though I was busy, it was in the best way because my time was spent exploring new cities and cultures, learning new skills like surfing and making paella, and eating tasty food. Making the most of your time abroad can be exhausting, but certainly is worth it!


Windsurfing class

With my program, there was an optional “Field Study/field trip” to a separate city before the program started. If you are wondering if it is worth the extra expense, I say do it. A chance to see a new city is always a good opportunity, and this one comes with planned activities and guides. For me, my field trip to Barcelona holds a special place in my heart because I was able to get accustomed to the country while going on planned and paid for (included) excursions from people who have lived there and know all the monuments, plazas, restaurants, churches, and parks to see. Plus, you get a bonus travel weekend and may meet your best friends and travel buddies there!


Cooking class

If I have piqued your interest in Valencia, Spain, travel, or food, check out my other blog posts and as always, PLEASE feel free to reach out to me if you are thinking about studying abroad, are going to Valencia, want to plan a weekend trip to Valencia, have questions about where to travel to in Europe, how to fly super cheap, how to see everything in London in just one day, the best places to eat fresh fruit or churros, how much study abroad might cost (real numbers from when I wrote down everything I spent), how much you can expect/budget to spend on a weekend trip, Airbnb/hostel recommendations and do’s/don’ts, where you can find genuine alpine cows and anything else you can think of. Whether you have one question or one million questions, I will literally drop what I'm doing to talk about it. I always check my email and am not scary.



Emily Carroll, a third-year chemistry student from West Des Moines, Iowa, studied abroad in Spain on the USAC Valencia program.