Many of the classes that I am taking while studying abroad in Barcelona are helping me fulfill requirements at my home institution, Drake University.
When I was trying to decide what classes most interested me and what I wanted to enroll in, I realized I wanted to learn about the culture of Barcelona and of Spain — and that I wanted to take a lot of field trips. Needless to say, when I got the syllabi for my classes and saw that I would be taking at least 11 field trips, I was pretty excited!
My first academic excursion was to Palau Robert with my Contemporary Spanish Art class. We went to the palace-turned-art gallery to see an exhibition on photojournalism from around the world.
When we first walked in, I was overcome with emotion when I saw the massive photographs. The exhibit featured work that depicted life in war-torn and impoverished countries. The photographers featured in the exhibit were able to capture scenes that showed the realities of life for people in these countries and, in many cases, the photos were used to inspire and drive change.
Seeing the photographs broke my heart and brought me to tears. They were a reminder of how easy it can be to forget the blessings that we have — and that others may live in poor conditions, but still manage to find joy in their situations.
Seeing this exhibit outside of the classroom made me feel thankful for these incredible journalists who put their lives on the line every day to tell the stories of these people. I am grateful for an opportunity to visit exhibits like this one — exhibits that make me take a step back and really ponder life.
It is wonderful that my university here in Barcelona makes use of learning opportunities like field trips within the city itself so that we can gain a deeper understanding of what we have learned in the classroom!
This post was contributed by Katie Simpson, a student from Drake University who is spending her spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Barcelona, Spain.