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Student Profiles

J.D. Gebbie traveled to Montserrat, Spain, while studying abroad in Barcelona.

Overseas Study Program

Barcelona,  Spain

Although the opportunity to travel in Europe may be once in a lifetime, take a couple weekends to travel around Barcelona.”

J.D. Gebbie

J.D.'s major: Sports Marketing & Management 

Year/term abroad: Spring 2012

Favorite Classes: Management Across Borders, The Business of Sport in Europe, Sports and Society in Spain

Describe the Housing Situation: Residence Hall with 17 other American students (12 girls, 5 guys) and over 100 Spanish/Catalan students (equal girls and guys). We had three meals a day (dinner does not start until 8:30 pm, so be ready for that) and each student has two roommates. Three to a room was difficult, but a great way to meet people.

Advice to Future Study Abroad Participants: Explore all of the cultural wonders in your home city as well as traveling to other cities and countries. Although the opportunity to travel in Europe may be once in a lifetime, take a couple weekends to travel around Barcelona. It is an amazing city and one I become culturally attached to.

Best Memory: FC Barcelona beating Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinal soccer game. The passion that the city has when FC Barcelona plays is not comparable to any American sporting event. Imagine the atmosphere when IU plays Kentucky or Purdue in basketball as Assembly Hall, then triple it and you can begin to compare to the level of an FC Barcelona v. Real Madrid game. It is truly incredible.

Complete this sentence: If I could do it over, I would... make a better effort to connect with locals and practice my Spanish. The time there goes faster than you could ever imagine and before you know it, it is over.

What you know now that you didn’t know before going abroad: Most educated Europeans have taken a second language (commonly English) throughout their entire schooling and are great English speakers who love to practice with you if given the opportunity.

Fact about your host country that you think people would be surprised to learn: My city, Barcelona, spoke much more Catalan (a Spanish dialect) than actual Spanish. There is a long history between Barcelona and the rest of Spain with much feud that has led to much tension between Barcelona (Catalunia) and the rest of Spain.