Students Experience Different Cultures From Barcelona to Berlin

Michigan State Students on the Barcelona to Berlin Study Abroad Trip Image by Courtesy of CAS News

Students Experience Different Cultures From Barcelona to Berlin

By FOX 47 News . CREATED Aug 5, 2014

Students on the Visual Communication: Barcelona to Berlin study abroad came away with new experiences while learning visual concepts in two distinct countries during the five-week program.

School of Journalism faculty members Cheryl Pell, Senior Faculty Specialist, and Jeremy Steele, Specialist, led the group of 14 students.

"We had to journal every day, photograph, create articles, and it allowed us to submerge ourselves in other peoples' culture," advertising junior Allison Fries said.

Pell said the visual journal's purpose was for students to capture the sites around them, not just with writing but illustrations and items collected along the way.

"(The trip) made us appreciate all the stuff we have taken advantage of, just little things like free water, refills, bathrooms, air conditioning, food and sanitary rules," Fries said. "You could hear five different languages in one room. When in America, you couldn't even hear five different languages in one city."

Visual Communication study abroad wp 2Pell said students find that people in other countries can live with less than what people in America live with.

"I learned to look at the world like it was brand new again," Fries said. "When you open your eyes, you can see all the beauty in little things around you."

Students in the program visited the architectural sites of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, traveled to Montserrat through the mountains, studied the Berlin Wall and walked the steps of prisoners who were sent to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp outside of Berlin. They also spent five days in Munich, where they visited a nearby university and its arts program.

"My favorite assignment was creating our own Berlin Wall design for the East Side Gallery," said Fries, who added that she loved seeing all the graffiti throughout the cities and wishes street art like that was more appreciated in America.

According to Pell, students take back these experiences and use what they learn in future classes at MSU.

"When students come back in the fall, they start to see these experiences show up in their classes," Pell said. "For example, one student created a travel guide to Barcelona in his studio art course."