In Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning, Richard Slimbach states, “If we allow, global learning will not only carry us into the world around us, but also into this world within” (p. 54). This is a statement that has come to mean a lot to me during my time abroad. I feel that during my time abroad I have not just been able to see another side of the world, but become another side of the world. I have been able to truly immerse myself in another culture and feel so at home in a place that I have really come to love with my whole heart. I have been able to make new friends abroad, like my language exchange partner, who has showed me local places in Barcelona that I would have never found before. I have become friends with the spice store owner, a store I ran into on a random walk home from class. I visit the store often now and converse with her in full Spanish. It feels so nice to be so accepted in a place so far from my own home. Barcelona has provided me a place to feel comfortable and to become a part of a world I could only imagine prior to this experience. Slimbach also says, “To change the world requires that we change our consciousness, the stories we live by” (p. 44). Because of my time abroad, I have changed so much about the way I think and my independence. The independence I have gained here is something that I believe is essential to being a global citizen and as assent that I now have that I will use to continue to be a global citizen and continue to travel the world. This is all thanks to this experience. This time has given me so many more goals and aspirations, like wanting to change the world by working abroad. I want the connections I have made to help me in my future career. I want to do relief work in third world countries and really become the best version of myself that I can be. I want to now become a part of more than just a few worlds, I want to become a part of so many more. I do not want to just see the world, I want to be the world.
My favorite place in Barcelona is one that has become so close to my heart, Bunkers del Caramel, a local spot that has what I think is the best view of the entire city of Barcelona. I took my last trip to Bunkers a few days ago,
it was an experience hard to describe. I felt so many different emotions than the first time I went to Bunkers. I felt like I was looking out at a new place than the first time I went because the first time I saw a beautiful view, and this time, I saw my home. I saw a place that I had grown to love more than I could ever imagine and a place I could see myself staying in so much longer than just one semester of school if I had the opportunity to do so. I also plan to have my last meal with Marc, my language exchange partner, and say goodbye to him. I want to go to our favorite pizza place that he showed me, Frattelli La Bufala. I want to thank him for helping me with my Spanish, for showing me beautiful things in Barcelona that I would have never seen, for introducing me to new food, and most importantly, for being such a great friend. It will be hard to part with my favorite Barcelona local but I know we will always keep in touch.
As my time to depart this beautiful city draws near, I am so full of sadness. Although I have had the most amazing past four months, I am not ready to leave this place or these people yet. There are so many more things I want to learn about Barcelona, about Spain, about Europe, and about the world. But, I am so excited to see my family again! To bring closure to my time in Barcelona, I am making an effort to see all my favorite places one last time this week. I am going to my favorite restaurants, tourist locations, and local places. I have also been thanking and plan to thank my favorite teachers here. One of my professors especially, has really made an effort with me this semester and has even made his class so interesting that I am loving art! That is a big step for me. I think coming home will be hard for me but I am ready to make the adjustments necessary to reincorporate myself in the culture at home. I am willing to let this experience change and improve me, and let this make me even more successful back in the United States. A quote that really resonates with me throughout this experience is by Mary Anne Radmacher who says, “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world”. This quote portrays how much I have grown and changed because of this experience. I am truly not the same person. I am more independent, confident, and willing to learn and adapt to new things. I can never explain how much this experience will always mean to me.