Mònica Fernàndez

Staff

Barcelona SAE
Monica is an On-Site Assistant at Barcelona SAE.

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

Diversity

Explain why you chose those words.

I moved to Barcelona when I was 18 to earn my Bachelor’s Degree. My hometown is a small village in the Pyrenees so everything was very new for me, but I immediately fell in love with the city lifestyle. Barcelona taught me how to respect different kinds of people from all over the world and it always offers all sorts of activities, from a Brazilian dance show to a press photography exhibition.

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

My favorite place to eat in Barcelona is Jaica, a small restaurant located in Barceloneta. I always go there with my sister to have some tapas in their cozy terrace. The decoration is very Catalan, with plenty of old photos of Futbol Club Barcelona. Also, the atmosphere in the neighborhood is very cool because Barceloneta is a mixture of locals and people from abroad. Tapas are my favourite food, especially Chipirones!

What is you favorite place in Catalunya? Why?

My favourite place in Catalunya is Sitges because it is a small sea-side town where there are lots of cultural festivals happening. In February, they hold the biggest Carnival festival of Catalonia! Sitges is very close to Barcelona and also to Tarragona, a very beautiful city where you can discover a lot from ancient Rome. The history of Sitges is related to Cuba and Puerto Rico because people from Sitges were selling their wines there in the XIXth century, and also the artistic influence of the town is very interesting. Modernist artists used Sitges as their meeting point, so that’s when locals started being very open-minded and still they are known for that.

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

Next to the W Hotel there is a square called “Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents”. It is very nice because you can find lots of people from all ages skating there. You have views of the skyline of Barcelona on your left side and the castle of Montjuic on your right side. In front of you, there is only the horizon and the sea. It is a perfect place to see a beautiful sunset.

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

I would wake up and have a mediterranian breakfast with cereals and fresh fruit. Then I would go see my friends to have a cortado con hielo in a terrace. I would use my bike to go there as the weather is always nice here! After I would have lunch and then spend the afternoon by the beach, relaxing or playing volleyball. I would love spending the evening in front of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Mar, where there are always musicians.

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

When you are living abroad time flies more than ever so my advice is to have a list of at least 5 different plans for each day. Going to class by walking or tasting a new Catalan dessert are some possibilities that won’t take you a lot of time and will make your day more valuable. I am sure you will go to sleep happier if you make the most of your experience in your everyday life.

What do you think makes Barcelona unique?

People who live in Barcelona are very cosmopolitan. The weather is very nice, and it is very well connected to the world, hosting lots of tourists every year that want to discover about the culture and the history of Catalonia and Spain.