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IES: Barcelona - Liberal Arts & Business
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Natalie Guarna

Major: Psychology, Advertising
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Newtown

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My semester study abroad experience in Barcelona has far surpassed my expectations. Not only has it undoubtedly been the best four months of my life, but I have grown and matured more than I would have thought possible in this short period of time. Often when students speak of their favorite experiences while studying abroad, they go immediately to weekend travel. Most of my greatest experiences abroad, however, took place in my homestay. I lived with a Spanish host mom in her apartment with another American student. She speaks no English, and I am in Spanish level 2. Living in her home was the defining aspect of my experience abroad. It is amazing how much you can learn from someone who, upon first meeting, you couldn't speak more than 10 words to.

Not only has it been undoubtedly the best four months of my life, but I have grown and matured more than I would have thought possible in this short period of time.

How did this experience impact you academically?

After this experience, I am beginning to question the academic path I am currently taking. I had not much considered it before, but I am certain that I want to incorporate travel into my career, and I'll need to alter my academic path to facilitate that. Living in Spain has opened my eyes to different educational options, when previously I had only considered much more traditional options.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Right now, I'm not completely certain about my career goals and plans. I know for certain that I'd like my job to involve travel, at least in the earlier years while I am young. I plan to pursue a higher-level degree, though I'm not sure what type or in what field. I am interested in consumer behavior research as it relates to both psychology and marketing. My study abroad experience opened my eyes to different possibilities, as I learned about cultures that define success in the same manner as Americans. This variation both consoles and inspires me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most certainly recommend this study abroad program to other Liberal Arts students. It was the best four months of my life, and I would give anything to live it over again.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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