Study abroad teaches far more than language

Contributed photoContributed photoI am extremely homesick, and that is quite possibly the understatement of the year.

With five days left (and counting), I am ready to go home.

Barcelona, and Europe in general, has been good to me.

I have learned so much, not only about Spanish culture and language but also about myself as a person.

I have been lucky enough to travel to Italy, Belgium and Greece along with other cities in Spain during these past three months.

My wonderful boyfriend was even able to come to Barcelona for five tremendously short yet fun-filled days.

I have finally come to appreciate the weather here, but I am adding snow and the occasional cloudy day to the list of things I miss about home.

That includes dill pickles and any kind of Cheerios.

Along with the list of things I miss about home, I am already starting a list of things I will miss about Spain. However short it might be, the first item will definitely be café con leche (coffee with milk).

This unique but relatively simple combination puts regular American coffee to shame, and I am not so sure I will be able to drink American coffee when I return.

To some, this might seem like a rambling of jumbled thoughts, but these are the thoughts turning over in my mind every day, with a slight change in the number of days I have left until I see my family and friends again.

Not to leave you with any wrong impressions. Like I said, Barcelona has been good to me and I have had an amazing time here — I have made so many memories and lived life to the fullest.

I have taken advantage of the chance given to me to discover who I am, without the distractions of home in the way.

One of the biggest discoveries made: I love to travel, but at heart, I am a homebody! Although I’m pretty sure I had an inkling of that before I left.

So, in conclusion to this mishmash of thoughts on studying abroad, I’m aware it’s not for everyone, but if I can survive—and not only survive, but flourish—I am convinced just about anyone can.

It is truly a life-changing experience that cannot be substituted by anything. The lessons learned and experiences gained are like no others, and never will be, at least for me.