Illinois Business Council

Study Abroad Sunday: Sam Schieber

By Brigid McCann

1) Why did you decide to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain?

I knew I wanted to study in Spain because I had learned about its culture after taking Spanish classes for five years. I sadly can’t speak it very well anymore… but it has been really helpful knowing at least some words and phrases! I chose Barcelona in particular because I had heard amazing things about it (S/O to Serena) and it seemed to offer everything I would want in a study abroad program. 10/10 would recommend studying here!

2) What has been your most fun or interesting experience so far?

I’ve had many… but the most interesting adventure is probably the one I am currently on! My program only lasted January-March so right now, and for the rest of April, I am homeless! I’ll be traveling to seven different countries with just my backpack and a carry on. It has been quite the experience going from country to country knowing very little about the language or people there, and then having to figure out how to get around. I was a little nervous at first, but the homelessness has been going well so far! I have even been able to do my laundry twice already so that is a big win.

3) What is the most exotic food you have eaten?

In Barcelona I tried this black squid ink Paella which is a dish of rice and squid. The rice is dyed black from the squid ink so it is kind of scary looking, but it was so good!

4) What is your favorite part of being abroad?

My favorite part of being abroad is having so much free time. It’s crazy to me that I have the opportunity to travel and meet up with friends across the world just because I can and have so few obligations. We are always so busy at school so it has been awesome being able to relax and enjoy everyday here. I still can’t believe it’s real sometimes!

5) What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced while abroad?

The biggest challenge about being away is not having the convenience that we do back home. It can be hard not speaking the same language or understanding the way things work in each country. You never really know what to expect when traveling, which is tough sometimes, but also a really good learning experience! I also miss my family a lot and all of you at school!

6) Do you have any funny stories from being abroad?

Hard to choose since odd things happen to me very often… but once I was told by a random Spanish man that I reminded him of his golden retriever. I wasn’t really sure how to take that and I think it may have been because I was wearing a furry vest but I’m still not quite sure. Now all my friends in Barcelona pretend I am a dog from time to time and I cannot look at golden retrievers now without wondering if we look alike.

Study Abroad Sunday: Sam Schieber

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