I chose to study abroad because it is a very popular program here at Quinnipiac University. My sister, a Quinnipiac alumni traveled abroad to Rome, Italy for a summer term her sophomore year of college. She chose to travel alone, forcing herself to become more open to new people and experiences. Although a huge leap out of her comfort zone, she revels it as being one of the best experiences of her life. My sister has acted as a mentor in a way during my decision process of whether or not I should travel abroad. Another large deciding factor for me was taking a ten-day tour around Italy this past summer. I kept off my phone, interacted with my tour group who were mostly American, and interacted with many native Italians, which was an enriching and eye-opening experience. Being immersed into such a different culture certainly impacted the way I saw America ever since I returned. I thought, if only ten days could have such an impact, what would a whole semester do? This was my deciding factor. I ultimately chose Barcelona, Spain because I wanted to go somewhere I’ve never been before. Also, I know basic Spanish, which will certainly be beneficial while communicating to the natives. I have a deep appreciation for art and history, which is intrinsically rooted in Spanish culture. Spain is also very convenient for when it comes to being able to travel to other European countries while abroad. The Rites of Passage theory is certainly going to apply to my study abroad experience because I am currently still in my “old status” and will begin my “liminal status” the day I land in Barcelona. During this liminal stage, I will be completely vulnerable to the new world surrounding me and have access to different people and opportunities like never before. If my trip is completely successful, I will enter my “new status” upon my return home and be able to see the world from a different and better perspective. A quote that resonated with me is from St. Augustine, “The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page.” This is a very powerful quote that everyone can relate to because the only way to make memories and better yourself as a person is to get out there and make it happen.