HOPE GILLAN ’18
Over 60% of Trinity’s student body studies abroad during their time as an undergraduate. The Tripod sat down with Charlotte Stabler ’18 to hear about her experiences at the Trinity in Barcelona program.
After studying abroad in her sophomore year of high school, Stabler could not wait to add another new city to her list of travels. Charlotte describes her semester abroad as “far exceeding my expectations and was definitely a defining experience.”
Choosing to live with a host family, Stabler did all she could to truly immerse herself in the culture. The most significant aspect was her homestay, where Stabler lived with a host mom who “treated me like a daughter of her own.” C
Stabler cites her host mom as one of her favorite choices she made that semester. Living with a host mother enabled Stabler to “learn more about Spain and Catalan culture than any class could have.” If she could relive once experience from abroad, Stabler says “I’d probably relive just the ordinary days that became my routine. Waking up and having breakfast with my host mom, meeting my friends at class, and hanging out for lunch, walking around the streets aimlessly until we went for a late dinner.”
In Barcelona, Trinity students are able to take courses in Spanish. Stabler took full advantage of this, with the majority of her five courses being taught in the country’s language. Luckily for Stabler, she arrived in Barcelona with the ability to speak Spanish, but the choices she made during her time abroad allowed her to return to the United States with further fluency in the language.
In returning to Trinity for her final year, Stabler made the decision to write her seminar paper on her experiences abroad, citing it as the influencing factor spiking her interests in the juxtaposition of the Catalan and Basque independence movements. When reflecting on her time abroad, Stabler stated the constant traveling to other countries as great, but also expressed regret for not staying in her home city for more weekends.
“I loved visiting Madrid and seeing how different it is compared to Barcelona. Outside of Spain, my favorite city was Copenhagen (Denmark). The culture there was so strikingly different than anything I’d ever experienced and I loved it,” Stabler stated.
When asked what she would say to someone who is deciding between the Trinity in Barcelona program and another Trinity program, Stabler said, “Trinity in Barcelona has managed to create the perfect balance of structure and freedom. They provide everything you need to have an incredible experience abroad. At times they hold your hand when you need it and other times they push you past your comfort zone.”
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