Skip to main content

Should I study abroad in Barcelona, Spain for the summer?

The sun is setting. I sit in a small dorm room in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Barcelona. I have been to Barcelona, Spain on numerous occasions. I have brought and met up with friends from all over the world here, I've made countless friendships in every corner of this city, I've studied here, and now, I'm a teaching assistant here for the summer. I'm writing this post to answer one question for Georgia Tech students in a very extensive fashion, should I study abroad in Barcelona, Spain for the summer?

The answer is YES. Here are my top 5 reasons as to why, in no particular order.



  1. It's going to change your life.
    • Whether you're a world-traveler or an in-state student who has never left the United States, the GT Barcelona program will have an incredibly lasting effect on your life. I've tried to explain this phenomenon before, but its relatively difficult to put into words. Traveling and more specifically experiencing other cultures from around the world will build on your persona. No matter how many times you do it, there will always be new things that you will learn from other cultures. A lot of people live their lives in an environment that is stagnant. If you do not change your surroundings, your experiences become repetitive, and shortly thereafter, you'll stop living your life. Barcelona is that wake-up call that will remind you of that simple thought, life is about living.
  2. You will make lasting friendships with people whom you would have probably not met otherwise.
    • Although the program is focused on architecture and computer science, there are always a number of unique majors that tag along because they too have realized that this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Georgia Tech is a relatively big school, and I can guarantee you that you have probably stuck to whatever group of friends you developed when you got there. I know I did, Georgia Tech is academically intensive and I don't always have the time to join new clubs and make new friends. Barcelona is one of those opportunities that breaks free of that. Over the years that I keep coming back to either visit the GT students or now as a TA, I have made friendships and encountered new experiences that I will cherish for years to come.  
  3.  You will learn the effects of design on the quality of life.
    •  This is a difficult point to describe, but Barcelona is a city which uses design to change the way that people live. I use design here in its most generic definition, encompassing the design of the city, and the amount of effort that went into planning where to build each and every museum, to something as small as the design of the metro's map which allows for an incredibly intuitive and simple experience. It is these details that separate Barcelona from any other city I've been to.
  4.  You are one flight away from anywhere in Europe. 
    • Barcelona is one of the main capitals of Europe. Flights from Barcelona go directly to any other major city. The BCN program features two breaks for you to travel to other places in Europe that will allow you to see more of what this wonderful continent has to offer. Sure, there's the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre in Paris, The Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel in Rome, but in my opinion the countries in Europe have so much more to offer than its world-renowned monuments and museums. Regardless, wherever you go, i'm sure you'll find a place that will take your breath away.
  5.  You'll become a local.
    • One of the students this time around mentioned in conversation how upset he was at all the tourists he'd have to walk around when passing by Sagrada Familia. A variety of study abroad programs are about flash traveling every city in Europe but the BCN program is about Barcelona. The program lends itself to exploring and getting to know this city as if it was your home. With various walking tours on the weekends, including visits to a number of gorgeous museums and small plazas, you will be able to come back here and show people around. The classes are geared toward the fact that you live in this city, and you should spend every day exploring. I find it outstanding to say this, but I keep running into places in Barcelona that I have never seen before, they are places I had never been too, and that's what encourages me to come back so many times.
I had a few more reasons like an outstanding nightlife, phenomenal restaurants, and a plethora of outdoor activities, but out of all the ones I wrote, these 5 stuck out as the most important,

I hope you get the chance to experience everything this program has to offer,
Daniel.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Food: Volume 2

The Food Guide: Volume 2 August marked the start of my 10th year in Atlanta, Georgia. My first 3-4 years were arguably a waste in the context of visiting places (still remember being blown away when I first ventured into Decatur), but I wanted to revisit my Food Guide now that I have frequented many locations around Atlanta and found the pockets that I really love. Before I had structured the guide from cheap to expensive, but this time I will break it down by neighborhoods, since I think that better represents Atlanta. Disclaimer, I also love beer so some of these may be bias to the beer world. I explicitly won't be mentioning breweries or bars because this would just get insanely long, but hit up Hop City, and check out every brewery in town. I particularly have been loving the atmosphere at Atlanta Brewing Co. so go check them out!
Knight Park, Blandtown, Home Park, Howell Mill from 17th to Northside: Coffee:Firelight Coffee Roasters: Tucked away from the madness and buried in…

My Barcelona Guide

Long overdue, but having been to Barcelona a number of times, I have been wanting to write some of the secret parts of the city that I encountered, and that are worth seeing. It's worth citing that a lot of the restaurants were originally gotten from an amazing list of restaurants my doctoral advisor shared with me, and that a lot of the places I love going to were first shown to me by our program director, who knows Barcelona better than anybody I know.

Additional note: Barcelona runs on a different time schedule than other countries. Dinner at 9-10pm is very common, and people start going out around midnight (to bars). Clubs start around 2am and go until about 6am, so keep that in mind as you enjoy the city. They also have afternoon naps (siestas), so in the early afternoon, a lot of things may be closed. The summer is usually pretty packed regardless because its booming with tourists. I generally do not like crowded toursit-filled areas, but you have to experience them once. You…

Dazed and confused.

I kind of came to the conclusion that I needed to write this when I realized that I had gotten a little lost at work. I can go a little crazy with the number of things I try to do at any given time and well, that kind of work can easily overwhelm me. However, over the past few days I have realized and resparked my desire and love for the process.

It may sound a bit abstract but its a common theme among those who find themselves fortunate enough to enjoy every minute of every day of work. You see, a lot of life is a matter of perspective. A quick glimpse into consumer behavior and the study of a capitalistic society will tell you that people are very predictable and marketable beings.

A few years ago Matthew McConaughey gave a fantastic talk to the University of Houston, where he stated the following: "See, joy is always in process, under construction — it’s in the constant approach, alive and well —in the doing of what we are fashioned to do… and enjoying doing it." and the…