If you were to sum up your Barcelona experience in one to two words, what would you say? My Barcelona Experience is…
Explain why you chose those words.
Barcelona has taught me things about myself that I didn’t know before. I came here because I felt Spain calling my name for the past few years, and I have been trying to get here to see what it was the country has to offer. After I arrived, I found that being here has caused me to question what it is, in fact, that I have to offer the city. I believe that any experience abroad is what you make of it, and the more of myself that I put into my time here, the more opportunity I will have to learn about myself and the world around me.
What was your favorite place to eat in Barcelona? Favorite food?
I have found that some of the most delicious treats in the world can be found in the bakeries at local grocery stores here. Just downstairs, I can get a homemade chocolate croissant that melts in my mouth. This combined with Catalonia’s famous Cacaolat (a chocolatey drink that can be purchased in most stores) has made up about half of my breakfasts here in Barcelona.
What is you favorite place in Catalunya? Why?
It’s hard to beat a night of salsa dancing with a local teacher and Latin music from around the world. I am a dancer at heart, and this has been my favourite cultural activity by far on this program. With that said, I also enjoy hikes with beautiful scenery. A walk up to the Bunkers a couple of weeks ago provided a beautiful view of the city!
Is there a site in Barcelona that you would recommend to future students that may be a little more “off the beaten path”?
I recommend visiting the Bunkers at sunrise or sunset. It only takes about a half hour to get there by bus, and may be the best view you can get of Barcelona. Also, it’s free! You have a 360 degree view of the city, and miles of shoreline.
If you had one perfect day in Barcelona where would you go, and what would you do?
If I only had one day in Barcelona, I would want it to be during La Mercè. During one day of this annual festival, you can see a group of castellers, live music, and experience the correfoc. There could not be a better day to taste the excitement, culture, and livelihood of Barcelona.
What is one piece of advice that you have for future students coming to Barcelona?
Don’t be afraid to try the local food! Some of the local Catalan dishes look a lot different than what you may be used to in your home country, but they are worth trying! Specifically, I recommend the paella and the arroz caldoso. You will need to learn how to open the shrimp though!
What do you think makes Barcelona unique?
Barcelona is unique because it is a melting pot of different cultures, but I find that Catalonian culture is even stronger here than Spanish culture. I have found that most things in the store are labeled in Catalan, as well as the street signs, restaurant menus, and the language that I here most often spoken on the street and in my homestay. I didn’t realize how strong Catalan culture was in Barcelona before I arrived, but I have fallen in love with it just as I have with the city itself.