Elizabeth Pella: Miami as Text 2023

Photograph by Elizabeth Pella / CC by 4.0

Elizabeth Pella is an FIU honors college student. She is a sophomore pursuing her Bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in Human Resource Management. She was born and raised in Miami with a prominent Hispanic heritage on her dad’s side of the family. She enjoys traveling, meeting people, and taking photos.

Encounter as Text

by Elizabeth Pella

January 27, 2023

Photograph by John Bailly at the Deering Estate / CC by 4.0

Coming into this study abroad program was unexpected but exciting for me. Growing up I have been blessed enough to go on many vacations around the United States with my family, but I have not had much exposure to Europe. My grandparents on my dad’s side have traveled all around the world and encouraged and inspired me to take this trip. When I was 14, they took me on my first trip to Europe to places in France, Italy, and Spain. That trip was amazing and I learned so much, but I was also very young. I have always looked forward to the day I would be able to travel to Europe again as an adult. I never looked into study abroad assuming it would be too difficult to take core classes in another country. This program is a perfect mix where we are learning and part of the university, but also part of a flexible class that allows us to not be stressed with school while away and in turn really focus on taking in the history and culture of Spain. I am so excited also that this trip is 3 weeks giving us so much time to really understand the area and the culture.

My dad when he was in college participated in a study abroad to Spain as well. His grandfather was a college professor in Virginia and was able to take him along on one of his study abroad trips. They stayed at the University of Salamanca dorms and would take weekend trips to different parts of Spain. I grew up hearing stories of my dad from this trip and the fun he had there. This is proof that the memories do last and do create good stories to tell in the future.

I am very excited for this trip especially after meeting the other students going. Learning hands on and outside the classroom is a great experience and I know will provide memories that will last forever. I am most looking forward to the walking tours and learning. I enjoy hearing guides talk and their knowledge and insight into these beautiful and historical places. I also look forward to the little moments outside of class where we will all laugh and adventure and make memories. I am looking forward to visiting the Alhambra again as well as the Sagrada Familia.

One of my favorite places I visited in Spain in the past was Casa Mila and Casa Batlló. The architecture by Gaudi especially in Casa Mila really caught my eye. The house has so many curves and windows and the interior has shapes that reflect the ocean and sea life which is so cool and unique. I hope to visit there again during free time if possible. One of my fears for the trip is seeing monkeys. When I visited Spain in the past, we did an excursion in Grenada where we were surrounded by monkeys running free on the ground and I was very very scared. However, I am mostly excited for the trip especially the pictures we will be able to take in the cities and on the hikes.

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