Barcelona: A Day in the Life of a Study Abroad Student
|April 26, 2013||Posted by under Places|
So I wake up, a week day in late January with bright sun streaming through my window. I step out onto my private balcony and see the perfectly clear blue sky. People say that Barcelona has a climate all of its own and they´re right.
With an average of four teaching hours a week, as always, I have the morning free before I go to class. After a continental style breakfast of fresh bread, tasty ham and cheese, fruits and a strong coffee, I decide to go for a run down to the beach. I set off from my four bedroom apartment that I share with three other students from Germany, France and Spain and take the 10 minute walk down Carrer de la Marina. The beautiful promenade running from Vila Olimpica to Barceloneta is a popular route for joggers, cyclists and rollerblades. A friendly, relaxed atmosphere welcomes me as I cut down onto the seafront and begin for jog along the sand. Despite being January there are people everywhere. The beachside restaurants are open and families and groups of friends are sat on the sand, in the bars or playing beach volleyball.
I run towards the W Hotel which stands tall for all to see at the harbor end of Barceloneta. Within 15 minutes I reach the beach end just in time to meet some friends to sit outside for some lunch. Barcelona attracts students from all over the world and I have quickly built a group of friends from across Europe and beyond.
Afterwards I head to the metro station to travel to university. The cities transport system is modern and reliable and after a one and a half minute wait I am on the train and on my way to other side of the city. Barcelona is a multicultural area and I can hear Catalan, Spanish and English being spoken all within one carriage. I go to my Spanish class first, followed by international marketing. Barcelona has a reputation for world class business schools and I haven´t been disappointed. After class I share tapas with my flat mates at home before heading out to meet some friends at a mojito bar in el Raval, part of Barcelona’s old district. On my way I am able to experience in the mixture of cultures; traditional Spanish, Catalan nationalism, international students: the new with the old.
I had often heard other people’s stories about spending a semester, year or more in a city like Barcelona and although I always wanted to have the experience myself, I never knew whether it would materialize. Therefore when I got the opportunity to study abroad during my 3rd year at university, I jumped at the chance, made it happen and never looked back. It has been an experience that I will never forget; improving my Spanish language skills, learning about a new culture, creating a global network of friends, living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and gaining experience, confidence and a greater perspective on life. Agencies such as Blueberry are great for helping you to assess your options in terms of what and where you would like to study.