Spain: Molly Trehey

Four women standing in front of red arc
New friends and Molly posting by the Arc de Trimof in Barcelona, Spain

Program: IES Barcelona, Spring

Molly’s Major: Kinesiology

How will your experience benefit you in the future? How might it affect your future career or studies?

My abroad experience helped further my Spanish speaking skills, which I imagine will help me communicate better with Spanish-speaking patients in my future career as a physician associate. In addition, I was able to see the ways in which healthcare differed in Spain from the U.S., for better or for worse.

Stunning view of Barcelona from the top of Park Guell

What is your advice for someone considering this program?

My advice for someone considering the IES Barcelona program is: definitely travel to other countries while you’re there, but don’t be afraid to stay in Barcelona some weekends and explore all the city has to offer. Walk along Barceloneta beach, climb Tibidabo, watch the sunset at Bunkers, try a new coffee shop or restaurant, buy one thing at the Mercado, cheer Barca on at a futbol game, go dancing at Sutton, visit the Pablo Picasso museum, take a train to Sitges beach for a day, or whatever sounds exciting to you. Finally, challenge yourself to order or ask questions in Spanish or even better, Catalan – the locals greatly appreciate it and are happy to teach you!

What is a custom, food or tradition from your host country that you are taking forward?

The lifestyle in Barcelona is slower-paced which I found difficult to adjust to especially when being late and taking time to spend a few hours at a coffee shop or at a meal with friends and family is not typically the norm in the U.S. like it is in Spain. However, as time went on I learned to appreciate this calmer way of life. In addition, it’s custom to share a bunch of different appetizers (called “tapas”) with a large group of friends and hop from place to place; my abroad friends and I still have fun nights where we try to recreate this experience.

Definitely travel to other countries while you’re there, but don’t be afraid to stay in Barcelona some weekends and explore all the city has to offer.