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Kaveri Gyanendra '13
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador?
My abroad experience was the best time period of my life thus far, and I would like to give back by sharing my experience in Barcelona and encouraging and preparing other students for their exciting adventure that awaits. Being able to aid fellow students in their process of applying, preparing and being abroad would be extremely important to me, and I know I would be able to provide the students with valuable information to have them ready for Barcelona and Europe.
Deciding factor for studying abroad?
I had always dreamt about going to Spain, and Barcelona offered many of my courses, had a reasonable price point and is a city that I have always heard great things about. After doing some more research, I discovered Barcelona is an incredible cosmopolitan city that offers a great variety of lifestyles. Whether it's relaxing over a cup of coffee in a cafe or shopping on the Ramblas, the city offers a lot and can keep anybody busy. In addition, the thought of being able to do an internship in Barcelona was very appealing, and IES offered the connection, which made it easier and hence applying for the SCU Barcelona program.
Defining Moment Abroad?
Living with a host mother was the most defining part of my experience. Although it was not a specific moment when I realized this, the overall experience of being in a home in Barcelona was extremely important to my growth as an international student. While learning about the culture through a native, I was also able to build a solid relationship with my host mother and develop a new insight to life. She ensured that my experience was the best that it could be and helped me realize what I love about Barcelona. It helped me understand the culture of the city and the traditions of the locals. What I learned through my host mom are aspects of life I can carry with me for the rest of my life.
Advice to Prospective study abroad students?
Although it may sound cliche, I would always recommend that students stay open. Upon arrival, they should expect nothing and let their expectations build as they evaluate their surroundings. I would also advise that students properly research their abroad location, and know details about their lifestyles, tradition and founding history. In addition, I would suggest that each student learns a fair amount of their country's language and maximizes their knowledge of the language while living in the country. To prepare differently, I would have learned more specifics about the Catalan culture, and attempted to learn a few phrases in Catalan in order to be well versed in a different style of conversation while out in the city.