Maya Crawford is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Administration major at University of Massachusetts Lowell, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.
In this week's post, Maya shares why she chose Barcelona as her study abroad city, what she's most excited about, and what her biggest worry is about spending a semester overseas.
Hi guys! My name is Maya Pearl Crawford, I am 22 years old, and I am the Official Blogger for CAPA Barcelona Fall 2018 program. I am a student at University of Massachusetts Lowell and I am finishing up my degree in Entrepreneurial Business. I chose to do my final semester of college abroad in Spain because I wanted to experience something new and different. I chose my CAPA location because Barcelona has been a dream destination for me since a young age. I remember seeing this beautiful city as a child while watching "The Cheetah Girls" and thinking “I have to go there someday.” The beautiful scenery, unique foods, language, and art were completely different from what I have experienced during other travels, and I knew I had to see them for myself.
Unlike most people who study abroad, I hadn’t been preparing for this throughout college. I was involved in so many things on campus from sports to clubs that I never thought I would have the time. Studying abroad never crossed my mind until a good friend of mine returned from her semester away with CAPA in London. She told me about how much fun she had and how easy CAPA made it for her to take the classes she needed that I decided to take a huge risk and sign up for this program myself. The application process was pretty fast and I knew within a few weeks that I was accepted to CAPA and would be flying out at the end of the summer! My family and friends weren’t surprised at all at my decision—they know I have always loved traveling and jump at any opportunity I get to do so.
I am most excited for the amount of exploration I will have the opportunity to do while in Barcelona. Friends of mine who have gone abroad to both Barcelona and other European countries have raved about how easy it is to not only explore the country I am residing in, but also some of the surrounding countries as well! My own home town of Boston has many hidden gems within the city that people (especially tourists) do not know much about, therefore one of the biggest things I want to do while in Spain is find what Barcelona’s hidden gems are.
My biggest worry about studying abroad is being away from home for so long. The only experiences I have had that were remotely close to this were international trips I took in middle and high school, neither of which were more than a few weeks long. I know that being away from my siblings, parents, boyfriend, and close friends will be a challenge, and homesickness is definitely not something I am looking forward to, but I am preparing by thinking of small solutions I can implement while abroad. I will make sure that the people I am closest to have applications like Skype and Whatsapp for us to communicate on, however, I will also take this opportunity to become more independent and enjoy my time away. I am not sure what my expectations are for this experience. I know that it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity full of growth, fun, and adventures. I can’t wait to board my plane!
Maya's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.