A blog post from SOLES Ambassador and MA in Higher Education Leadership, Megan Petersen:
Recently I attended the International Leadership Association (ILA) Conference in Barcelona through a course offered by the Leadership Department in SOLES. The course consisted of four class sessions in addition to the four-day conference. This was a great opportunity to further enhance my leadership skills while getting the chance to travel the world. I left a few days before the conference in order to have time to immerse myself in the city.
Traveling is one of my biggest passions, and while pursuing my undergraduate career I attended Semester at Sea, a study abroad program that travels the world via ship. One of our stops on our journey was Barcelona; so, I was excited to be able to go back to view the city from a different perspective this time around. I was able to revisit sights that I saw from my previous trip there as well as explore the city more in depth.
Both times in Barcelona I was able to visit La Segrada Familia, a church that has been under construction since 1882. Being inside of this building brought me a sense of peace both time
. It was amazing to see the progression that it made throughout the years and I hope to see it again in the future.
I also took time out of this trip to explore The Gothic Quarter by myself, a place I had never been before. Doing this allowed me to connect to the city in a different way and, in a sense, “get lost” in the culture of the city. Looking at all of the intricate architecture and knowing how long ago it was all built made me feel sort of small in comparison, but I felt very connected to the culture and city while I was there as well.
My favorite part of the conference was getting the opportunity to volunteer at the registration desk with students from a similar program as me, who were going to school at an institution in Barcelona. Getting to interact with locals from the area was a wonderful way to really incorporate the international aspect of the conference, besides just seeing sights throughout the city. It was the perfect merging of cultures in an unexpended way.
I always enjoy traveling to new and old locations and I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to return to Barcelona.