My Study Abroad Experience


Barcelona, Spain is somewhere I never thought I would have the chance to go to. But when I learned of CEA and their program here, I had to take advantage. I have always wanted to study abroad but I never knew where and once I was presented with this opportunity, I was over the moon. I always knew it would be an amazing experience, but I never thought it would compare to this. To sum up what this experience has entailed would be impossible, but writing about it is a great way to help explain.

13532832_1065872086856929_134676324399694845_nFrom learning to live with new people who have very different lifestyles and backgrounds to traveling on the weekends, this experience has been life changing. Besides the city itself, my favorite part of studying abroad was the people I had the chance to meet. My roommates were from Kansas, Georgia and Arizona so I was lucky enough to learn about different lifestyles from the United States as well. On top of the chance to meet other Americans, I was also introduced to local friends. Going out with them and allowing them to show us around the city was amazing. It was really interesting to learn about Barcelona from a local perspective.

Traveling on the weekends was another opportunity that I was lucky enough to take 18118810_1146833282094142_8307658241948532453_nadvantage of. Traveling is something that requires immense patience, street knowledge and can sometimes bring out the worst in people. From trying to navigate a foreign city without Google maps, to dealing with the biggest complainer in your group, the biggest thing I learned was simply patience. Patience is something I struggled with before coming abroad but is something that is needed to succeed and make the most of the experience.

16143003_1065867600190711_8838851271856486439_nThe best part of this was not the traveling or the people but rather Barcelona itself. Having the chance to live in such a beautiful, energetic, clean and unique city is something I will never forget. My favorite times were the times where I found myself aimlessly walking around popping into local stores and coffee shops. I think that was the best way for me to get to know the city.


Since the minute I stepped foot on Spanish soil, I have been changed for the better. It is something that I cannot explain but I know in my heart that I have become a better person, a harder worker and more grateful than ever. The best way I can explain the way I feel about Barcelona is comparable to falling in love, but much deeper.


Valentí Santjuan


Santjuan is a journalist who has used his passion, strength and determination to compete in many strenuous events. He started off running marathons and almost a dozen ironmans (which consist of a 3.86 km swim, 180.25 km bike ride and a 42.20 km run… without a break). But most impressively, completing to Ultramans which is a 3 day endurance challenge composed of a 10 km swim through the ocean, 145 km bike ride (I’m not talking a flat bike ride through a city, they endure climbs of up to 6,000 feet) on day 1, a 276 km bike ride climbing up to 4,000 feet on day 2 and ending with a casual 84 km DOUBLE marathon (because why stop at just one?). When hearing about Valentí Santjuan, I was expecting a bland journalist, not someone so strong, driven, inspiring and passionate about his life and past times even when enduring many hardships along the way.

While Valentí was conquering the world with his strength, he was also running a Youtube channel. Many years ago, Valentí started working in the journalism field. He quickly realized that he was not a huge fan of having bosses and coworkers tell him what to do. He also went through a difficult time ending a long relationship and sadly losing his mom in the process. He realized life is short and this is when he started up a Youtube channel with videos including talk shows and interviews.

Valentí has a couple different Youtube channels based on what the audience is maxresdefaultinterested in. One is radio/talk show style and another  focusing on sports. He explained that is important to make content for everyone or the amount of viewers/ subscribers will be limited. Combined with multiple channels, he has more than 100,000 subscribers and millions of views. His Youtube channels have helped him grow into a popular social media presence.

dddddddThe cool thing about what Valentí does is that he does not have one specific boss. As mentioned in our class he has multiple bosses: his audience, the brands he promotes, his Youtube channel and most importantly himself. His audience is what keeps his channel going, essentially they are the reason his Youtube channel is considered his job. He stated that “without his viewers, he would be nothing.” Second, sponsors request that he incorporate and promote their brand into his Youtube videos or social media platforms. They will pay him for each las-cosas-importantes-deben-entrar-listas_media_1-1441653414395advertisement resulting in lots of money made. Youtube is another one of his bosses in the sense that they control what he can and cannot post. Without the help of Youtube, he would not have viewers. Lastly, he is lucky enough to call himself his main boss. He is in charge of what he wants to promote and post as well as what he does to reach the level he has reached.

While Valentí considers himself a journalist, he also is a Youtuber, a brand, a producer, an entrepreneur, an athlete and an inspiration to people all over the world.

Changes in Instagram

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-2-02-59-pmIn 2010, most people considered Instagram just a photo editing app, but since then it has blossomed into a huge and very popular social media site, reaching over 400 million users. Although Instagram doesn’t come close to as many active users as Facebook, it is still the second largest social media site to date (as shown in the infographic below). After just a few years, they already had more users than Twitter, who was once just below Facebook on the list. Over the past couple of years, Instagram has evolved from a photo sharing app to a messenger to live streaming videos.


Facebook may be the most popular social media site with almost 2 billion users but surveys revealed that most millennials actually prefer Instagram over Facebook. This is simply because people prefer visuals over text. Nowadays, people want the most amount of information and fast. Instagram makes it simple for people to quickly scroll through and see what others are doing. According to the Pew Research Center, almost half of the users check the Instagram app daily and 32% check it several times a day.

To become as big as they now are, Instagram has had to make several changes over the years. In 2010, it was very simply with very few filters screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-2-06-32-pm
and limited users. 2012 is when they added locations and tags making it easier for users to explore and expand their profiles which was when Instagram really seemed to take off. Over the years they added more filters and tools to edit photos, the option to share videos and an explore page, where you can take a look at profiles that Instagram thinks you may be interested in.


It wasn’t until 2016 when Instagram really changed the game. They gave themselves a complete makeover. They said goodbye to the retro polaroid looking camera icon and completely changed their color scheme to a more vibrant and exciting color scheme. According to The Telegraph, “Instagram was inspired by all the ways the community has grown and changed, and they wanted to create something that reflects how vibrant and diverse storytelling on Instagram has become.”

Not only did they change the looks of the app but also the features of it. They added Instagram stories, where a person can post a short video, screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-1-56-45-pmphoto or a Boomerang. These photos are then uploaded for anyone to see, and stay up for 24 hours. The difference between that and a regular
photo is that you do not receive likes, you can draw or type text on it and you can also track who views them.

Lastly, Instagram jumped on the “live stream” bandwagon where a person can start a stream of what they are doing in that exact moment for all of their followers to see. While streaming, you can see who is viewing at the specific time. People can also comment, making it easy to answer questions they might have.