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Polymer & Color Chemistry student, Alli La Pierre, has always been inspired by the colorful works of artist & architect Antonio Gaudí … so much so that it helped determine her major! Alli spent her spring break viewing Gaudí’s masterpieces while studying abroad in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. It was nine days of history, art, food, cultural experiences, climbing mountains and more! Read on to hear the details of her trip.

Written by: Alli La Pierre, Polymer & Color Chemistry Sophomore

The How:
There are really quite a few different ways to get involved with Study Abroad. My particular trip to Spain was through the University Scholars Program, but there are so many other avenues. The University usually holds Study Abroad fairs in the fall and spring and you can go online and view a list of all of the different programs NC State has to offer at http://studyabroad.ncsu.edu/ through their program search option.

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The Why:
I’ve always wanted to try study abroad, but I’ve never been quite sure if the entire semester study was for me. I chose the Spain spring break study abroad trip to give me a feel for if I would like to consider a semester abroad in the future (and boy do I want to!).

In addition to the general allure of travel, I studied Spanish in middle and high school and I have always wanted the chance to be able to test my Spanish speaking abilities. While it certainly was not necessary to know the language, it made me feel really accomplished when I could speak with locals during the trip.

Finally, one of my great inspirations in life and one of my reasons for falling so in love with color and my major has been the artistic and architectural works of Antonio Gaudí. Gaudí was a Spanish artist who was commissioned to work on several of the buildings in the city of Madrid. He is most renowned for his work with color and geometric forms instead of traditional architecture. I signed up for the trip as soon as it was announced that we would be visiting so many of his works, around Barcelona. It was a Color Chemistry majors dream to see the vibrancy of the buildings in real life!

Why You Should Do It:
This trip was a huge learning and growing experience for me and I highly recommend to every student to give Study Abroad a chance. Traveling abroad helps you gain skills that you can’t get from a textbook and helps you better get to know yourself. You will never know if you like pickled sardines or if you can climb the tallest mountain in Spain unless you go out and try it!

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Favorite Parts of the Trip:
-Touring the Sagrada Familia
-Trying local food at the Market in Barcelona
-Touring Casa Batlló and Park Guell
-Climbing the Tallest Mountain in Barcelona

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