Today’s guest post is a special one! API Alumni Charlie Lotz & Sarah Moss studied abroad in Barcelona back in 2010. It’s safe to say the experience was life-changing because the two married after meeting during their semester abroad with API! We’re chatting with Sarah today about that experience and more of what they’ve been up to since their study abroad adventure.
What was the study abroad experience like for you & how did it shape you as a person?
It truly was a life-changing experience, in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Most directly, our time in Barcelona made us fall in love with Spain. It was a direct reason for us later moving to Sevilla, where we taught English for four years. But it’s also impacted our lives in more subtle ways. It made us both into more confident people, and taught us that getting lost in a new city is usually the best way to learn your way around. We learned how to stay in touch with family and friends from the other side of an ocean. It taught us that making mistakes (with the language, the customs, the metro map) is okay, and that adapting to unforeseen challenges is better than trying to avoid them. Most importantly, it ignited a love for travel that has been a constant in our lives and in our relationship.
You actually met your future spouse while studying abroad in Barcelona! Let’s hear that story!
We met on the very first day of the program. The reason was extremely practical. We both needed to buy phones and I didn’t speak any Spanish! He was going to El Corte D’Ingles to find one and I asked to tag along. Buying the phone was a bit more of an adventure than we expected, so it took a couple of tries before we had success; but we were sort of in it together at that point. We hit it off immediately and kept finding excuses to hang out over the next few days. We realized we both had the same break between classes, so we just started meeting up. Along with other friends, we began to explore the city together, learning our way around Gracia, Barceloneta, L’Eixample, and beyond. While we still can’t agree on when exactly we started “dating dating”, at some point it must have been obvious. When Marta from API predicted that we’d get married someday, we laughed it off. But it turns out she was on to something, since we just celebrated our third wedding anniversary!
What advice do you have for any student who’s thinking about studying abroad but nervous about the experience?
Take the leap and do it. It seems a little scary at first, but API was there for everything we needed. You’ll meet amazing people, go amazing places, eat amazing things, and learn so much about yourself in the process. We can’t promise you’ll find a spouse along the way, but we’re living proof that it’s not out of the question either! But seriously, it was a transformative moment in both of our lives, and we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.