This was my first time participating in a study abroad program. I had heard about teen tours before, but my mom brought up the study abroad program with Abbey Road to help me improve my Spanish. Living in the residence in Barcelona was similar to college life and I wanted to be able to experience that and get a feel for what college might be like. I really liked the small group size because we all really got to know each other and could just hangout as a group. I’m actually going to see a few people from the Barcelona program in December!
I thought the teachers were great! They really encouraged us to speak more Spanish and helped us understand more. Thanks to them my Spanish improved significantly. After I came back home, I was standing in line at the store and the woman in front of me was holding a baby and speaking in Spanish and we ended up having a conversation completely in Spanish. I was able to understand her and actually hold a conversation.
The residential life was amazing. Every week the counselors gave us money for one trip to the grocery store. You would go to the store with the student that you shared your kitchen with. Together you would buy what food you wanted for the week. We did cooking every other night, which was really fun. Learning to cook new recipes and trying new foods was a completely new experience. My favorite recipe was tortilla, which is an egg and potato dish that can be used for tapas or as a whole dish. Simple tasks such as cooking for yourself, buying your own groceries, taking out the trash and doing your own laundry made me become very independent. I’ve been told I have become more adventurous and more spontaneous.
When I was looking at Abbey Road, four weeks seemed like a long time and when I first got there I was really nervous. It just seemed like a really long time to be living with all these people I didn’t know, but by the end I really wish the program had been longer! I am definitely going to try and go on another study abroad trip during my next summer break or maybe my summer before college. I would definitely go to Spain again.