Guest Post By: Biftu Ibrahim, a Senior. She is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient, and she studied abroad through ALBA Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, during Summer A-Term 2023.
Beyond the classroom, Barcelona unfolded as a city bursting with culture and history. Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces like the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, the narrow alleys of the Gothic Quarter, and the vibrant La Boqueria market became my classrooms for learning about the city’s rich heritage. Embracing local traditions, savoring authentic Catalan cuisine, and participating in festivals allowed me to truly immerse myself in the unique rhythm of Barcelona life. Navigating daily life in a city where Catalan and Spanish intertwine was a linguistic adventure. While many locals speak both languages, I found myself gradually picking up basic Catalan phrases and expressions. Language exchange programs and interacting with locals provided invaluable opportunities to enhance my language skills, making me feel more connected to the community. Studying abroad is not without its challenges. Adapting to a new educational system, navigating a foreign city, and overcoming language barriers presented hurdles along the way. However, each challenge became an opportunity for personal growth and resilience. Overcoming obstacles in a foreign environment strengthened my adaptability and resourcefulness. The GBC Scholarship played a pivotal role in breaking down financial barriers, turning my aspirations into reality. Pursuing higher education abroad often comes with a hefty price tag, encompassing tuition, accommodation, travel, and daily expenses. For many students, including myself, the financial burden can be overwhelming and, at times, insurmountable. However, it is essential to acknowledge a crucial element that made this transformative journey possible, the generous support of the GBC Scholarship. Without this scholarship, my dream of studying in Barcelona might have remained just an elusive dream.