Quahmayla Brooks, better known as Sun, is a Junior Marketing major at Howard University.
I interviewed Sun about her experiences so far in the amazing city of Barcelona, Spain. Below are the questions and responses. I hope you guys enjoy!
Fatou: Where are you currently studying abroad and how long will you be there/have been there?
Sun: I'm in Barcelona, Spain. I'll be here until the end of April and I've been here for about a month.
Fatou: Have you been out of the country before this current trip?
Sun: No, this is my first time. I was super excited the whole time and couldn’t wait to go. I even packed earlier. The day before I was leaving, I was scared to death. I wanted to change my mind.
Fatou: What classes are you taking over there?
Sun: Finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, organizational behavior and Spanish. Full class load, but it’s really cool.
Fatou: Is it difficult not being able to speak the native language and travel abroad?
Sun: Yes. My Spanish is terrible. My house mom only speaks Spanish, so it’s difficult for us to speak sometimes but it helps me pick it up faster.
Fatou: If you recall, how was your first day being in Spain?
Sun: First day was terrible. I lost my wallet and my passport. After that, I went out to the beach and got food with my friends, so the beginning was bad but the ending was good.
Fatou: As a black woman traveling abroad, why is this trip important for you?
Sun: I feel like as a black woman, I focus a lot on my identity. It’s very selective of how Americans see black people but my identity is perceived differently in Spain than it is in the United States. People stare at us when we're all out but it’s not the same type of stare back in the states that many of us are used to.
Fatou: What’s the nightlife like there?
Sun: It’s crazy. People go out around 11pm or 12am and stay out until 5am or 6am. The clubs have strobe lights, 3 djs playing different sets at the club. Really crazy but very fun.
Fatou: What do you miss the most about America?
Sun: The feeling of doing traditional things with friends. Going to Halfsmoke with friends, hanging out, etc.
Fatou: Do you feel like the people you’ve encountered so far had misconceived perceptions about you?
Sun: I think people in Spain seem to mind their business. You don’t see a lot of people socializing with people they don’t really know.
Fatou: What’s the food like?
Sun: The food is very different. To me, it’s a lot less heavy on sauces and seasonings. Everything tastes very fresh. I had tried a dish with fish and it literally tastes like it was swimming that day.
Fatou: Would you consider living there post-graduation?
Sun: I would be very comfortable being here. I feel like I’m at home, where I’m supposed to be. They’re very laid back here in Spain. (For those of you who didn’t know, Sun is very laid back.)
Fatou: If there is one piece of advice you could offer, what would it be?
Sun: I would say if you’re thinking about it and you have the ability to do it, find a way to get abroad. I think it’s something that everybody should do, especially black people. Immerse yourself in something completely different.
For more study abroad experiences, visit my site every day this week. Tomorrow, check out Rhuby's Radiant Time in Paris, France!