This past spring break I had the amazing opportunity to travel with 12 other students for a faculty led study abroad in Spain. This was my third study abroad since I have been in college, but Spain has always been on my bucket list. After four years of Spanish in high school and in my last class for a Spanish minor here at K-State, I have learned a lot about Spain through the years. Spain has been influenced by a lot of cultures before its rise to power in the 1500-1700s, and these influences can be seen throughout its architecture, art, language, and food.
My group was only in Spain for ten days, so our stay focused in the Barcelona and Girona areas where we had the chance to experience the culture, food, and agriculture. In Barcelona, gothic era influences can be seen everywhere. One of the most famous works of gothic architecture, and my favorite, is Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, an immense
cathedral that is still being constructed over a 100 years since construction began. We also were able to visit art museums, including those dedicated to the works of Picasso and Dali.
Agriculturally, we covered a lot of different areas from chocolate, olive oil, and wine to an organic swine research farm, a processing plant, a dairy, and a Limousine cattle farm. My personal favorites were the swine farm, which is actually a side project of a company that specializes in cured meats, and the olive farm. There we toured the olive trees, saw their bottling and labeling facilities for their oil, and where they made their own olive oil soap. I could have easily spent another two weeks traveling around the different areas of Spain, but those ten days gave me enough of a taste to know that I would love to go back and explore even more of Spain’s unique culture.
Spain might not be everyone’s dream country to visit, but Spain was just one of many study abroads offered through the College of Ag. These are such a great opportunity to travel and experience other country’s culture and agriculture in a safe and affordable environment, and my biggest advice to anyone wanting to travel is to take a chance and choose a study abroad.