Monday, March 03, 2014

Melissa M - Barcelona, Spain - Spring 2014

They say that New York is “the city that never sleeps,” but people who say that have clearly never been to Barcelona. So far, being in Barcelona has been one of the most wild and unique and exhausting experiences of my life. All the articles that I read before-hand that talked about their late eating and going out schedules were not kidding. A normal night with my host family consists of dinner at 10pm ending around 1030 or 11. While the first few nights it was a bit difficult adjusting to the late eating hours, it has become progressively easier and more natural to eat later. On top of these late dinners, if we want to go out, high time for heading out to bars or clubs doesn’t start till 1am or 2. Needless to say, the nights in Barca are filled with so much life and fun.

Even though I’ve been here almost a month, I still marvel at the city and all of it’s life and energy. It really never gets old. I think one of the things I like most about the city is that there’s always something to do. Living in the center of Barcelona, there literally isn’t any time for me to be bored. On any given day I can visit Las Ramblas, head to the shopping district, travel to one of the many museums, eat tapas and drink sangria, walk by the beach, visit a different district and shop small specialty boutiques and stores, go to cathedrals and take pictures of Roman ruins; the list is endless. I truly can’t stress enough how happy I am with my decision to study in Barcelona. Everyday I learn more about myself, others, and the many different cultures I am faced with. So far, Barcelona has stolen my heart and I don’t think I would have it any other way.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi from CPP250, Melissa! Here we go....Alice

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa!

It sounds like you're having a great time! I plan on studying in Barcelona this upcoming fall and it seems like I should be prepared for a huge schedule adjustment! Are there any tips/things you wish you would have known/done before going?

Best,
Rabia

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Rebekah Schmitz said...

Hola Melissa,

I am planning on studying abroad this upcoming fall. Reading your blog post makes me so excited to live in a new place and experience a new city. I cannot imagine changing your whole eating and sleeping schedule. Sounds like there are plenty of museums and things to visit during your semester there! I second Rabia's question.

Rebekah S.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hola Melissa!

Sounds like this new chapter in your life is truly a dream come true for you! It just makes the decision I made to also study in Barcelona that much better. Please let me know of anywhere in particular I should visit in Barcelona before coming back home to the U.S. It can be anything!

Best,

McKennah Lloyd

8:43 PM  
Blogger Jaclyn Pizzoferrato said...

Hi Melissa,

It sounds like you are having an awesome time in Barcelona! I heard Barcelona is AMAZING!!!! I was wondering how the classes were in Barcelona compared to the ones in the US?

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Melissa,
I am studying abroad in Murcia, Spain next semester and find your blogs very informative and interesting. I was wondering what classes you are taking and if you could give me a few tips for picking classes in Spain. Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful semester!
-Libby Stephens

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CPP 250

Hola Melissa!

I am studying in Granada, Spain this fall and of course making a trip to Barcelona! It sounds like you are so happy with your decision!

I was hoping you can give me some tips on how you picked some of your classes and how different the Spanish school system is compared to the U.S.?

Thanks!

Melissa Betance

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I was wondering if you could tell me home much Spanish you are learning? I am excited to travel but I am also excited to hopefully become fluent in a new language seeing as a I have some previous knowledge.

Thanks,

William Hoff

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I haven't been checking this blog as frequently as I probably should - we just got done with spring break and I've been traveling a majority of the weekends these past months.

I'll try to answer a little bit of everything that I see you guys are asking. First of all, I assume you guys are all studying in Barcelona, or if not in Barca, then some other Spanish city. To that I say: you chose WELL. I've been living in Spain for almost 4 months and have continued to love every second of it. So get pumped, seriously. Don't waver or doubt your choice in picking Spain.

Okay, moving onto questions. A lot of you asked what I wished I would have brought or what I would have liked to know before going...
1) A reusable water bottle. It really blows having to pay with water and it's really easy to get dehydrated with so much travel and walking. I really wish I would have brought a resizable bottle.
2) Gym Shoes.. I failed to bring a good pair of walking shoes and my feet have definitely felt it.
3) More underwear!!! Sorry guys, but sometimes your host family (or wherever you are staying) just isn't as on top of laundry as you would hope. Bring lot's of socks and underwear. You won't regret this.

One major piece of advice I can give is that if you like your specific makeup, shower, or whatever brands- bring them. Barcelona is super urban and has lots of our US brands but they are EXPENSIVE and it blows to have to buy them here. People will tell you not to bring shampoo or other things to save room while packing, but don't listen to them. It was one of my best ideas. I got to keep my favorite brands and also didn't have to spend the money.

Questions about school:
I came with IES abroad and my classes ranged in difficulty. Since IES is a US company...I had an enormous amount of busy work. I took 2 art classes, a business class, a mandatory spanish class, and a history class. They aren't hard (at all) but they just have a lot of work involved. It really ranges for everyone as far as workload goes - it just really depends on the classes you take and teachers that teach. I can say with much confidence that throughout my stay in Barca my Spanish has improved SO much. If you stick with speaking Spanish even outside classes and your host family it really helps in improving. Like anything- you get back what you put in. Sometimes me and my roommates will speak Spanish just to practice!

To whoever is studying in Barca- feel free to email me if you have questions or are curious about absolutely anything. My email is melissa.mckenna@net.elmhurst.edu. Seriously, I love it here and have so much to say. Before I came to Barca I had 10 billion questions and wished I had someone to reach out to - so please feel free to email me with whatever!


Melissa

12:27 PM  

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