Arielle Sanchez

English Literature

University of Central Florida
Studied Abroad at BIC (now SIS)
Arielle is an English Literature major from the University of Central Florida, and studied abroad in Barcelona during the Spring of 2014.

What are you up to these days? Have you graduated? Are you working? How did your experience in Barcelona have an impact on your life?

I am now back in Florida, missing Barcelona because I had such an amazing time! It is a beautiful city with endless entertainment and a wonderful culture. I loved practicing my Spanish and interacting with the locals. The beach, festivals, celebrations, bars, architecture, art, walking tours, and restaurants were all great.

What was your favorite tour, day trip, or cultural activity? Why?

My favorite activity in Barcelona was exploring around the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Not only was it free to view the inside of the museum on certain days, but the outside of it was very fun to explore. I loved the gardens, the Palau San Jordi (where I caught a Fall Out Boy concert!), the Olympic Stadium, and the spectacular view of the entire city in front of the museum.

Is there a site in Barcelona that you would recommend to future students that may be a little more “off the beaten path”?

All of the little streets going through the Gràcia neighborhood are definitely off the beaten path. They are full of shops and markets and very friendly locals, of course! There’s a great market in la Plaça de la Llibertat with a yummy olive store right next to it. There’s also a little restaurant in Plaça de la Vila called Bo!, meaning good in Catalan, which has a wonderful atmosphere.

What was something you were surprised to learn about Barcelona or Spain? Or what aspect of the country or city were you least expecting?

How walkable Barcelona is, and how easy it is to explore the city on foot! Yes, the metro is a much faster form of transportation, but you won’t get to fully experience the city that way. It took me an hour to walk from the school to where I was living, but I preferred walking through the city than squishing myself between people on the metro. When we first arrived in Barcelona, my roommate and I walked around the entire city in two days and, as tiring as that was, it helped us with our sense of direction. Don’t worry about getting lost, it’s fun getting lost in this city – you’ll always find something new!

What is one piece of advice that you have for future students coming to Barcelona?

Enjoy yourself as much as you can! Do something new whenever you have free time, whether it’s ordering a café con leche instead of a tea or walking to Parc Güell instead of taking the metro, just do it! Buy your plane tickets in advance and just travel as much as you can because this is the experience of a lifetime.