Family and Friends
Every study abroad has its benefits, but Spain is one of the best places to study abroad. The value of family and friends is absolutely heart-warming. I never felt so much love in one place. I always feel welcome no matter where I go and that makes me feel incredibly safe.
Pace in Life
The culture here allows there to be a slower pace of life, so you can absorb every new experience and let it sink it. Meals tend to be at least a few hours long and that way not only can you enjoy your meals but also get to spend more time with your friends. You will most likely not feel overwhelmed and being in a country with a culture so different from America, it really helps with the transition.
The food here is nothing short of superb. From gelato to paella, everything is amazing. There is such a huge variety that if you're craving something, chances are that Barcelona will have it. I suggest trying paella or tapas. Tapas are appetizers you can get anywhere and are reasonably priced. Patatas bravas is one of my favorite tapas. It is essentially fried potato pieces with tomato puree and mayonnaise.
Some of the places we went to were Park Güell, Camp Nou, the Gothic Quarter, Montserrat, and Tibidabo. The architecture and places to visit are endless. There is no other experience than hiking 2 hours up Montserrat and finally reaching the top when you're out of breath. You stare out into the vast expanse of greenery and smell the crisp scent of nature. One of my favorite experiences was Park Güell. The mosaic everywhere was gorgeous. It was a lot of fun exploring the nooks and crannies of somewhere that has so much to see.
You will be staying in a host family during the study abroad when many other study abroads you stay in an apartment. Staying with a family allows you to be immersed in the culture and help with the adjustment. You will be feed breakfast and dinners throughout the week. You will also have your laundry done for you once every week. It has the same feel as living in your own house as you feel at home but are fed with the food that is part of their culture. You get to interact with your host family and get to know them better. If you decide to pick another study abroad you will be missing this essential part of feeling at home in that new country. It was one reason why I picked this Barcelona study abroad over the others.
Price and Duration
The price was under $4,000 and the plane ticket was roughly $1,600. For four weeks and 6 credits, I thought that this study abroad was a steal. Not only is this study abroad in an amazing location, I will be having fun while I got credits. You did not have to pay for public transport because you were provided with free metro passes which you can use to get around Spain.
It was the first time I ever had a cooking class, and it was for the farewell dinner. I was super excited as we will not only be having fun but also be eating the food we made. It was a bit hard at first since we were making a mess, but we were having so much fun that it was okay. After a few hours of preparation, we started eating and talking to the people around us. I felt that Barcelona is my second home, and I will have a special place in my heart for Spain. Hugs were given and promises were made to meet each other during the school year. New friends were made and friendships that will last. The study abroad in Barcelona, Spain was definitely worth it, and I am so thankful I went.