I had an absolutely wonderful time in Barcelona and I am so grateful to the Ashley Soulé Conroy Foundation for providing me such a great assistance in my journey abroad. In my 4 months in Europe, I traveled throughout Spain, England, Italy, France, Switzerland, Monaco, and Andorra. My favorite, unsurprisingly, has been Spain and I am so in love with Barcelona that I am currently looking into opportunities to return to work and live there for another year or more. This semester has been the most interesting of my academic career by far, even solely considering the coursework. I studied, both in university and firsthand, the two official languages of Catalonia, Spanish and Catalan, as well as Spanish culture and civilization. It was amazing to study these three subjects in class and then go out into the world and experience them. It was a particularly intriguing experience to begin to think primarily in these languages as I tried my best to immerse myself in the languages and I had many friends who did not speak English, my only native language. It was very rewarding to show myself I could live in another country without relying on speaking English, although it would have been much easier. I have grown so much in such little time and I can honestly say that Barcelona has begun to feel like a second home to me. I miss the days that I could walk from my apartment and within 10 minutes be enjoying some churros with hot chocolate aside the beautiful Sagrada Familia. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is my hope that one day I can help another student have the experience of a lifetime the way you have helped me.
— Chris Thorne, II | Concordia University Irvine