If you were to sum up your Barcelona experience in one to two words, what would you say? My Barcelona Experience is…
Metamorphic and illuminating
Explain why you chose those words.
My experience truly changed who I was as a person to the core. We can only learn so much from the internet, classes, and even other people, and getting to see what else our world has to offer must be learned through first-hand experience. There are many lessons I learned that I still have trouble putting into words, but I know that they have undoubtedly contributed in a positive manner to how I define myself.
If you had one perfect day in Barcelona where would you go, and what would you do?
My day would start with a lovely cup of café con leche at the coffee shop near my apartment. Then I would take a walk around the Drassanes metro stop and watch the ships bob around and also do some people watching. I might take a walk up to the top of Montjuic and have a beverage and a bocadillo at the restaurant that connects to the ferrocaril. I would then meet up with some friends and take some manchego cheese and a bottle of cava to La Barceloneta and enjoy the sun. I would make my way to Parc Güell to watch the sunset from the highest point. I would head home and enjoy dinner with my host family, then possibly go to a couple bars or even some of the high end night clubs (like Sutton).
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 about how the public transportation system worked. The system is easy to use once you figure it out, and it’s also pretty reliable. I was surprised to see how many normal people used the metro or bus as their primary means of transportation, especially since many people I know have never even set foot on a public bus or train. It was a very useful skill to know how to navigate the maps and stations, and I was also able to use these skills when I traveled to a couple other countries in Europe.
What is one piece of advice that you have for future students coming to Barcelona?
Go out and explore the city! If you have even 1 hour of free time, instead of staying in, go out and explore some place you haven’t been before. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anyone to go with. You’ll probably end up learning even more if you have the courage to go alone! Put your phone away, don’t use any maps, and try to get yourself lost. It’s how I got to learn the layout of the city. By the time I had to leave, I was pretty confident that I could find my way back home without using any maps at all… And after returning home, I found that I actually knew Barcelona better than the current city I live in!