The Study Abroad Experience: Barcelona, Spain

Bon dia from Barcelona, España! As I am writing this, I have been in Barcelona for about two months and have been loving every second of it. Before coming to Barcelona, I was honestly a tad bit nervous about the whole thing, especially living in one of the largest cities in Europe; now, I think I have settled in well by learning the city.

One of my favorite things about the city has been the public transportation system, and how easy to use and efficient it is, from the numerous different metro and bus lines there are to the trams that run on either side of the city.

All of this sounds intimidating, I’ll admit, but it’s actually not. I’m not fluent in Spanish by any means, but I know enough and have been learning a lot quickly. Also, with Barcelona being such an international and touristic city, most locals in the city know English to some extent, which makes everything a bit easier…

As for my homestay situation in Barcelona, I am currently staying with an older Spanish lady who does not speak any English at all…

As for classes, two of my classes are taught in English, and my third class is taught in Spanish. It’s my Spanish language class…

I am currently attending the University of Barcelona, which was founded in 1450. The University has a giant, beautiful main campus building in the center of the city and numerous other campuses in the surrounding districts. I am only taking three classes in Barcelona, which include a Spanish language class, a class on Spain’s economy, and a class on Barcelona’s history, all of which have been very interesting so far.

As far as getting to know Barcelona and traveling, so far, I have been around Barcelona, some surrounding towns and Morocco. One of my favorite parts about studying abroad and traveling in general is experiencing other cultures and learning more about people in the world.

Living with a host family, studying Spanish in Barcelona and living with a Moroccan family in Morocco for a weekend have been some of the best things of my life. There are so many opportunities that you shouldn’t wait on to experience.

I would highly recommend taking chances to travel to places where you haven’t been before, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people from around the world.

For me, it has been an amazing experience to talk to local students in Barcelona, as well as students from other countries, talking to local Moroccans and even listening to and watching foreign television.

All in all, I would 100 percent recommend studying abroad if you are able to while in college.

Please note: Student Thomas Gerow ’19 originally wrote this article for The Etownian‘s weekly ‘Study Abroad Experience’ article. It was originally published on March 15, 2018. The Etownian is Elizabethtown College’s student newspaper. Click here to view the original article.

About the Author – Thomas Gerow ’19

Tommy is an Economics major, who studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain for the spring 2018 semester.

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