I have now been abroad for 2 ½ months! It has been an amazing and crazy journey so far. Since my first blog, I have been to many more interesting places, mostly in Spain, but also in Germany. I continue to meet new and unique people all the time. Some of my best friends here in Spain are from France, Pakistan, and even Turkey. Being in Barcelona has broadened my horizons so much. From the ability to set out on adventures from such a central location (more on that later) to the influx of people who visit from various parts of the world, I have been enabled to have many incredible new experiences.

               One thing which is very different from university back in the United States is that most classes do not have midterm grades. Only one of my classes had a midterm exam and the others are almost entirely decided by the final exam or project. Luckily, the professors at the Universitat de Barcelona have been very reassuring that participation in class or completion of homework does factor into the grades as well, which is a bit of a relief. Aside from that, classes feel very similar to those back home, except most of them are in Spanish.

               Speaking of Spanish, I have improved tremendously in my speaking and comprehension abilities since being here in Barcelona. Listening at such a fast pace is still difficult sometimes, but it gets easier every day. What I have noticed recently is that many of the words and phrases I use and hear often have become like second nature. In the past, I have had to think through everything which was being said and translate it piece by piece. Now, though, I often find myself jumping through conversation in the blink of an eye.

               Recently, I have been to Tarragona and Granada in Spain. Tarragona was such a beautiful place and had such rich history surrounding its ancient roman background. My trip to Granada was unique because it was organized by CIS and our Barcelona program director, Nicole. Exploring the Alhambra was awesome, even despite uncharacteristically cold weather and a lot of rain. I can see why Nicole—who lived for several years there before moving to Barcelona—loves it so much.

The last trip I have made to this point was to Ravensburg, Germany. This may not be the most typical trip for a student abroad, but my fiancé and I were actually visiting some of her family, Kim and Frank. Kim was actually a student at The University of Alabama, and she studied abroad in Germany. She loved it so much that she decided to move there, and she now works for the study abroad department at the local university, sending students all over the place, including the U.S. Frank is a native to Ravensburg and works in media production for the local professional hockey team (Go Towerstars!) and he was even able to get us VIP passes to their playoff match!

This has most definitely been the most exciting time of my life and I know it will only continue to provide amazing adventures. Next up is London and Paris over our Spring Break, which I am so excited for. I cannot thank CISabroad enough for this awesome semester abroad!