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What Students Say

Students Share Their Barcelona Experiences

For many students, studying abroad is a life-changing event -- a chance to become a part of another culture, expand horizons, and make cross-cultural friendships. These Knox students share their experiences:

"I can say without hesitation that choosing to study abroad on the Barcelona program was the best decision I've made in my college career."

"During the six months I lived there, I fell in love with Barcelona -- the bustling city, its distinct culture, and the beautiful language. The city itself offers everything for everyone. I enjoyed sunbathing on the beaches of Barceloneta, shopping down las Ramblas, walking through Park Guell, eating my lunch on the university patio, going to Espanol soccer matches, and just sitting down and having a cup of coffee with a good friend. The classes were fun. I joined the local gym and even found a job teaching English to grade schoolers who I now miss dearly."

"The entire experience was amazing, and I have learned so much about not only a different country and culture, but also about myself as well. I grew and matured more in those six months than I had from the day I became a teenager. The experience opened my eyes to a whole different world, one that's much bigger and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined."

"The Knox College Program in Barcelona understands and values this concept, encouraging you to go exploring, to travel, to meet and speak with the people of the city, and to form unforgettable bonds with your host family, fellow participants and new Spanish friends. I am counting the days until I can return once again to mi querida Barcelona."

- Lisa Casarrubias, Spanish and Educational Studies major, Round Lake Park, Illinois

"Living in Barcelona for two terms was one of the best experiences I've had in my lifetime. Barcelona itself is a beautiful city -- I had so much fun just wandering around the streets and finding little cafes and shops. And being in Barcelona gave me many opportunities to travel. I went all over Europe, to France, England, Germany, Italy and even Switzerland. It's very easy to get around Europe once you get there and definitely something to take advantage of. After five months in Barcelona, it really felt like my home -- and I felt reluctant to leave. I will definitely return if I have the opportunity, and I will be able to visit friends and a great city when I do."

- Sarah Schantz, Psychology and Spanish major, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"One of the most truly international experiences I had while on the Knox Program in Barcelona was doing an internship for Prous Science, a pharmaceuticals information management company.

"My job was to do Internet research on pharmaceutical companies from all over the world, and I made spreadsheets, databases and reports on my research in both English and Spanish.

"The internship gave me a sense of just how international Barcelona truly is. Clients from all over the world would come to Prous Science, and the interesting mix of British and Spanish people made an enjoyable workplace atmosphere. Once, I overheard a whole meeting between Spanish staff of Prous Science and Japanese clients -- now that was some "interesting" English!

"It was fascinating to see the international business trends in Spain. This experience definitely opened my eyes to something not everyone gets to see as an exchange student."

- Jubin Rahatzad, Integrated International Studies major, Portland, Oregon

"Barcelona is an incredibly cosmopolitan place, with so many cultural avenues to explore. The beauty of Knox's program is that it provides you with ample time and opportunity to do just that. I visited museums (of Picasso and Joan Miro, to name just two), joined an Ultimate Frisbee team that played on the beach, and was able to spend enough time wandering around the city that I felt like I knew it well by the time I left. I also got to see live music virtually every night of the week, and at the bars I met people from all over the world.

"I think one of my favorite aspects of the city was its overall beauty -- Barcelona is truly an amazing city. It's surrounded by mountains on three sides and the Mediterranean sea on the other. The architecture is breathtaking. It's the home of Gaudi and modernism, and there are neighborhoods where you'll find Roman ruins. For me, even though I would see them on a daily basis, the novelty never wore off from doing my homework or reading the paper in the shadow of a 700-year-old cathedral."

- Ryan Gerlach, Environmental Studies major, Appleton, Wisconsin

"Living in Barcelona was an incredible experience and probably one of my most important experiences at Knox. I felt comfortable in the city, even though I had never lived in such a large place before. Barcelona is so eclectic, and I loved walking between neighborhoods and exploring all the different things the city had to offer.

"It especially helped to be living with a host family, because they were always happy to let me know about interesting events going on. My host mother, Pepita, told me a lot about Barcelona and her experience growing up there, and we often sat together in the evenings just to talk. By the end of my two terms in Barcelona, I felt like a part of the family and like the city was more of a home than a place I was visiting. I look forward to going back when I get the opportunity, and I know that I will have friends to visit when I do."

- Rachel McRoberts, Spanish and Anthropology-Sociology major, Coralville, Iowa

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