Before my semester abroad I had never been out of the country. Being in Spain and in Europe I learned to appreciate other cultures and branch out of my shy tendencies. It also gave me the nerves to finally speak Spanish with people other than my grandparents without feeling like I was being judged.
My Spanish improved significantly. I was able to see amazing things in person. I was able to adapt to and learned to love a new city. I gained about 10 pounds and a lot of international experience. I also learned so much about the culture from living in a shared apartment. It was completely worthwhile.
After about two or three weeks studying in Bilbao I felt like a part of the city. I walked to work every morning with everybody else that lived in Bilbao, had coffee and red the newspaper at the same coffee shops and drank beer and conversed with the locals after work. The people in Bilbao are incredible and make you feel at home.
I learned to be more independent, I learned how to be a traveler and not tourist, I learned how to communicate inter-culturally, I learned a lot about globalization, I learned to get out of my comfort zone, I learned about 12 different countries and cultures, I learned that the world is truly a great place.