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Calista Clouse


University of Michigan
Studied Abroad at SIS
Calista is a Communications major from the University of Michigan, and studied abroad at SIS during Summer 2023.

If you were to sum up your Barcelona experience in one to two words, what would you say? My Barcelona Experience is…

Empowering and Memorable

Explain why you chose those words.

I found it empowering and memorable because it taught me to be comfortable with the unknown, to take risks, and to be more confident and independent. It was also an amazing experience where I made lifelong friends and memories.

What was your favorite place to eat in Barcelona? Favorite food?

My favorite place to eat was Yicha for their sandwiches, and my favorite food overall was Tortilla de Patatas.

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

I really enjoyed the day trip to Girona because I watched Game of Thrones, as well as the cooking classes because I love to cook.

What was your housing experience like? Did you live in an apartment with other students? A homestay with a local family? A residence hall on your Barcelona campus?

I was in a homestay with a local family, and I really enjoyed the experience. It taught me a lot about myself and Spanish culture, improved my speaking and comprehension skills, and got me out of my comfort zone. Even though I was very nervous at first, I definitely recommend homestays to future students.

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

It’s not very “off the beaten path” but I enjoyed exploring cafes near my homestay in Sant Quinti/Clot area and found that El Cafeto was my favorite to go to for studying, reading, or just socializing. The owner also hosted language exchange sessions and was very welcoming.

If you had one perfect day in Barcelona where would you go, and what would you do?

I would head to class in the morning, get out around 1 pm, and meet with a few close friends for lunch or a coffee. I would then head back to my homestay for a siesta and to drop off my bags. Afterwards, I’d find a nice place to hang out like a park or cafe to do work or read. Head back to the homestay and eat dinner with my host family, and then meet with friends that evening for drinks or dancing and karaoke.

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

I was surprised to learn that Uber wasn’t allowed and that personal space wasn’t as big of a thing compared to how it is in the U.S. I also wasn’t expecting to feel so safe especially with this having been my first time traveling to Europe and doing it alone.

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

Utilize your resources and don’t hesitate to reach out when you have questions or need help.

Why was Barcelona SAE the right program for you?

With it being such a tight-knit program, it was comforting and supportive in a way that allowed me to feel at ease when attending events alone. The program felt more personalized and I really enjoyed how the line of communication was open and transparent between staff and students. I learned a lot from this program inside and outside of the classroom.