Jessica Castellani

Spanish

University of Delaware
Studied Abroad at UAB
Jessica is from the University of Delaware, and studied abroad at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) during the Spring of 2015.

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?

My experience in Barcelona made me more aware of the world around me and of different perspectives, through observation and also through meeting and connecting with new people from various places. I feel as though I have grown more independent and generally just grown as a person!

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

Inspirational!

Explain why you chose those words.

As I mentioned above, in Barcelona I’ve started to feel more independent. I definitely think that is due to the atmosphere and the fact that there are so many things to do in this city. Those things inspire me to step out of my comfort zone, do things on my own that I normally wouldn’t, and make new friends. As a shy person, it is hard for me to do those things, but I think coming into this city by myself, knowing no one on the trip, has been a positive thing rather than a negative.

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

My favorite place to eat in Barcelona was at a small restaurant near my apartment called Santutxo. The food is good, and it is small and quiet with a great atmosphere. The place is decorated with vintage signs, with vinyl records on the tables as place settings. The man who worked there, was working by himself, and he was incredibly nice and did such a great job. My favorite food, although not at Santutxo, were the pintxos at Sagardi in the Gothic Quarter.

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

My favorite cultural activity was the cooking class because it was fun to learn, as someone who doesn’t cook many elaborate meals, how to cook a relatively easy, delicious Spanish meal. I also think it was so fun being able to work with the people in our program and be able to learn more about them while experiencing the world of Spanish cooking!

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

I would go to Barceloneta (the beach) to relax and people-watch! It is such a great area that feels different than the same Eixample layout of much of the rest of the city. I think it is a tranquil place to hang out with friends and have a picnic or go out to lunch. I love even just walking along the beach and not having a plan of where I am going. The fun is in the journey!

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

My advice would be to get involved in as many activities as possible and not to hesitate if you are the only one who wants to do it! Do it by yourself because if there is something you want to do badly enough, it won’t matter if you are doing it alone. And anyway, you’ll be sure to meet new people along the way.

Why was Barcelona SAE the right program for you?

Barcelona SAE was the right program for me because of the cultural activities and weekend trips. I definitely feel as though I’ve learned a lot about Barcelona, and Spain in general, from the staff of Barcelona SAE. I love how the program makes me discover new things about this city, country, and about myself.