I thought it was very fitting that the first thing I saw when I stepped into the Barcelona terminal was a giant billboard featuring the Wizard of Oz. I was definitely not in Kansas anymore but it still seemed to follow me to Spain!
I had always wanted to study abroad, but I could never find enough credits to take overseas that would allow me to graduate on time with my dual degree. So when I saw a flyer advertising a trip to Spain and Italy over Thanksgiving Break I immediately called my best friend and the next day we had signed up for the Faculty Led trip! The trip was a part of an International Marketing course and I found it extremely interesting to learn more about the creative side of business that I didn’t see much as an accounting student. It was great to take the concepts I learned and see them applied first hand overseas.
Part of our assignment while abroad was to visit the open market in Spain and take notes of how the food was displayed; how the layout and advertising differed from the States. In Rome we were asked to do the same, observing billboards and shops to see if the gelato really lived up to its reputation (if you were wondering, it does and more!) We also visited global businesses in Barcelona; Lacoste and the Chamber of Commerce.
I especially enjoyed the activities our professor, Swinder Janda, had arranged for our group. In Barcelona we took a bike tour throughout the city and port (this was my favorite activity) and took a tour of a winery in the countryside. While we were in Rome our group took an Italian cooking course and made our own Thanksgiving feast, complete with homemade noodles and tiramisu! We also had time during the trip to explore the cities on our own. We saw La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and explored the Coliseum, the Vatican, and the Trevi Fountain in Rome. However, my best memories are when my friend and I took the afternoon and aimlessly explored Barcelona and took in the local culture.
I was so blessed to have the opportunity to explore such beautiful places with my K-State family. The most unexpected blessing of the trip was getting to know the other amazing students on the trip! I’ll never forget my experiences from this visit, and I look forward to another adventure next Spring!
Don’t schedule every minute of your trip, just take time to wander the place you are in.