"The People I’ve Met and How They’ve Changed Me" by Quron Clarks

"If I am being completely honest, IAB is an amazing place because of how it teaches you to appreciate an individual. IAB and its location teaches you social skills to deal with almost anyone you come in contact with in a respectful manner.

Since arriving in Sitges, I have built professional and personal relationships that will last a lifetime.

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The students are your family. As cliche as it sounds, just like family, you can’t like everyone but you can’t deny that these people have made a valuable contribution to your life that makes you appreciate them. Personally I’m closer to some of the people in different years and degree courses than some of the people in my own class. However, the beauty is that I know I can go to my colleagues for anything. We have shared laughter, tears, motivational talks, personal issues, home cooked meals/recipes, stressed out arguments, hilarious misunderstandings, sincere hugs, uncontrollable giggles, a long list of inside jokes, chilling secrets, awkward moments, beautiful memories, trips home, vacation/holidays, and most of all cultural exchanges.

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It’s actually quite funny, IAB almost has its own accent. With so many languages and dialects in one place, the created accent is spoken at a slow pace with some words over enunciated and others with unique inflections.

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The teachers are more than tutors, they are mentors. As the majority of the faculty has experience in today’s current professional world makes the classes and information that much more valuable. Our teachers offer constant advice and constructive criticism that isn’t offered anywhere else. The best part, to me, is that each student in the institution is assigned a personal tutor that they can talk to at anytime about almost anything. I personally appreciate the fact that the staff are willing to listen to you with open ears. There have been many times when students needed to vent, get professional advice, admit their worries about the future, or even simply talk and the tutors have been there for it all. It only takes an email or asking them when passing on campus to set up as much time as you would like to talk. At IAB it is not a crime to share a laugh or a smile with the individuals holding authoritative rolls.

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I can proudly say that IAB has made me a better person. Before coming to the institution I thought I was culturally aware of the world coming from the American ‘melting pot’ and a multicultural family but the people here have taught me so much more about the value of life. I’ve become more expressive, open, accepting, aware, and trusting. I even cry at movies I’ve seen a million times now because I can appreciate the real beauty and truth they have to offer with an open mind. My friends and colleagues have been there for my lowest points and have been the ones to lift me to some of my highest points. There are times where we’ll buy each other chocolates or a treat just to see each other smile and friendship like that is not easy to find. I am grateful for the faculty who have pushed me from the moment I walked in the door. I will never forget my first Christmas break home and hearing how much I had improved in just three months. The faculty has made it clear that each student needs to view themselves as professionals from the moment they enter a room each day and that has given me a new confidence that was never there before. I am self aware and proud of the individual that I’ve been molded into. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, there is seriously no place I’d rather study!"

By Quron Clarks