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La Vida en Barcelona

I am about halfway through my time to study abroad in Barcelona, and I have no idea where the time has gone. I have continued volunteering at the local elementary school called Dolors Almeda and I feel like interacting with the students there has continued to teach me a lot and make Barcelona feel even more like home. For me personally, volunteering has had its moments when it was a little harder due to the current political climate in Barcelona. With the big trial going on and Catalunya wanting its independence from Spain, there have many protests and demonstrations throughout the city. This causes a great impact on the metro and other means of public transportation, which makes it harder to get around. Also the fact that you never want to get caught up in the protest, so just being extra aware of where you are at all times has become increasingly important. Either way, volunteering has given me a chance to really get to know some of these students, and I think it has helped a lot in terms of their perspective of the United States and what it means to be American. With the students being so young, a lot of them have very big and grand ideas on what the United States is and it is so funny to hear the things that they associate the United States with the most. I feel like I've been able to give them more and more information on a place that a lot of them hope to go and visit one day, so I really hope that it lives up to what they are expecting. I also think that volunteering with these students has changed the way that some of their parents look at and see Americans. I feel like there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding Americans and this idea that we come here just to enjoy the beauty of their home without really getting to know it and contribute to it, and I feel like me coming in and helping teach their children and me trying to learn and understand their language and culture has truly gone a long way. I am very sad to see time going so quickly because I absolutely love it here, but I am very excited to see what these next two months have in store.