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?
I returned to my campus and became a Spanish tutor, and I also had the incredible opportunity to work as a translator at a medical clinic.
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.
My Barcelona experience enabled me to be completely independent, immersed in a new culture, speaking a new language, and perpetually learning.
What was your favorite place to eat in Barcelona? Favorite food?
There was a panadería on the corner by my host mom’s apartment that had the best chocolate croissants!
What was your favorite tour, day trip, or cultural activity? Why?
CARNESTOLTES! During Carnaval the entire city comes alive with color, festivity, and more joy even than normal. It was incredible to see elements of the Barcelona and Catalan culture that became so apparent during Carnaval.
Is there a site in Barcelona that you would recommend to future students that may be a little more “off the beaten path”?
El Turó de La Rovira — A little tricky to find at first, but by far one of the best views of Barcelona. On my last night, I sat in this old military bunker and said goodbye to the city. You can look straight out across the city, with the mountains on the side and see every major element of the skyline; I could even see where I lived.
If you had one perfect day in Barcelona where would you go, and what would you do?
I would see the classics — Gaudí’s work (La Sagrada Familia) and take a stroll down Las Ramblas — but I would also experience the heart of the city — la ciutadella, el Born, the markets. I’m not quite sure how I would fit it all in! Oh! And I’d have to go to a correfoc!
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 quite taken aback by the amalgamation of “Spanish” and Catalan cultures. The constant give and take of this relationship was impressive and pervasive. From the foods to the languages and straight through to the history and politics, this was not something I was well aware of or expecting, but came to love and appreciate.
What is one piece of advice that you have for future students coming to Barcelona?
Be open to the people and their language. They want to interact with you; they want to share their city. Be open to the “new.” Embrace what’s different, and you’ll grow more than you thought possible.
Why was Barcelona SAE the right program for you?
It was right for me because it put me right in the center of the city with a beautiful family and my little American self. It pushed me just enough to grow inexplicably while providing a safe haven at the same time. The tours, trips, and the resulting cultural and linguistic knowledge I gained from Barcelona SAE are invaluable.