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Erran Owenby

Graphic Design

Lenoir-Rhyne Univsersity
Studied Abroad at SIS
Erran is a Graphic Design major from Lenoir-Rhyne University, and studied abroad at SIS in Spring 2020.

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

Eye Opening

Explain why you chose those words.

I chose these words because I truly learned new things every day that gave me a new perspective. Whether that was about the culture, the countries, or the people, I have now learned to see things from all points of views.

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 chose to stay in an apartment with four other students from Barcelona SAE where I shared my bedroom with one other student from my program. My apartment was a lot bigger than most apartments in Barcelona and it overlooked the Sagrada Familia. I liked living in an apartment because I had a lot of freedom and I could come and go as I pleased. I also had to cook most of my meals, so I learned to cook many dishes including Spanish dishes such as pan con tomate, patatas bravas, and tortilla de patata. I became best friends with my roommate and I had many other friends in my buildings that were from the same program as well.

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

My favorite sites to go when I want to get out of the city is Ciutadella Park, Park Guell, or the Bunkers. All of these parks are full of nature and great views of the city, and make me feel like I am back home in the mountains.

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

My perfect day in Barcelona would consist of waking up and going to Billy Brunch which is a brunch restaurant near the Sagrada Familia. After that, I would go and walk around El Born area where the Cathedral is, then I would go to the beach and play a game of beach volleyball. I would then head to the Port to get lunch, then I would go on a sunset sailing tour in the Mediterranean Sea looking over the city, ending the night with some good friends.

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 how big socializing with friends and family is. When people in Spain go out to eat, they tend to spend a couple hours eating and socializing, not worrying about time. Also, there is rarely takeout menus because people value sitting down and spending quality time with friends and family.

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

One piece of advice that I have for future study abroad students is to be confident. Coming to Barcelona was my first time on a plane, let alone in a new country. Although I was nervous, I remained confident and that helped me through many situations where I was not sure what to do. Whether you are trying to speak the language or navigate your way around the city, staying confident is key.