Raf Cruz '22 Enjoys Study Abroad Program in Barcelona

This past summer, MBS senior Rafael Cruz ’22 had a wonderful experience participating in a month-long study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain through CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange). 

Raf decided to apply for the program after he attended Morristown Beard School’s Global Vendor Day and met with a CIEE representative.

“I was nervous about the program at first, but it’s been the best decision I ever made,” he said. 

From mid-June to mid-July, Raf lived with a host family in an apartment in Barcelona.  On a daily basis, he would be able to engage in discussions in Spanish, eat meals with the family, and watch soccer on TV with them.  In the mornings, he would attend a 3-hour Spanish class, and in the afternoons he was free to explore the city with his friends.

“The best part was meeting everyone and making so many friends along the way. We went through so many experiences together — getting lost on a train, going to the beach, going to museums…,” he said. “Even though I’m back in New Jersey, I still keep in touch with everyone. I know that these will be lifelong friendships and they made the whole trip worthwhile.”

Raf said that he also gained a lot of confidence and independence from his month abroad. “It really taught me how to take care of myself and be on my own,” he said. “Just by figuring out the train routes or finding my way through the streets of a foreign country, I was growing as a person.”

He also said he gained a real appreciation for other cultures. “That summer changed my  whole outlook,” he said. “There’s so much going on in Barcelona and the experience really helped me appreciate different cultures and develop a global citizen mindset.”

Now that he’s back at Morristown Beard School, Raf is staying busy with a host of activities. He serves as Student Government Association (SGA) President, plays varsity football, dances with the Step Team, works as a writing tutor, and is active with the Social Justice Committee, Kaleidoscope, and Mental Health Matters.

If you would like to learn more about study abroad opportunities, visit www.mbs.net/academics/global-studies or email MBS Director of Global Studies Aline de la Torre-McCloskey at adelatorre@mbs.net.


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