Barcelona is one of the most fabulous cities in Europe and (in my biased opinion the best in Spain!) This beautiful, cosmopolitan, and historic city is a Mecca of culture, tourism, and futbol! It’s no surprise that it’s the capitol of the Mediterranean. There are always a million things to do; museums, amazing beaches, mountains, night life, you will never be bored.
People warned me that since Catalunya has two official languages Spanish and Catalan that it would be a difficult city to live in. This could not be further from the truth! Catalan will be annoying at times but it will never be a problem. Your family will always speak to you in Castellano and if you don’t look Spanish people will almost always approach you in Castellano. You will pick up a few catch phrases so impress your host mom and greet her with Bon Dia!
Public Transportation makes it possible to be at any corner of the city in under 30 minutes. For year long students who are into eco friendly transportation I would recommend checking out Bicing. It’s a service offered only to residents so you will need a residence card. There are thousands of bike stations in the city and if you pay 30 euros for the year you have access to any bike for thirty minutes. When you get where you are going you just drop it off at any station. It’s, easy, convenient, and you look like a local which in this tourist saturated city is always cool! Put your mom’s worries at ease though and pick up a helmet, urban biking can be crazy.
Cataluyna has a special history that you won’t fully understand until you begin to take classes here so I recommend at the minimum taking a few history courses. I especially enjoyed Spanish Civil War and European Union.
-Caitlin Bigelow, studied in Barcelona Academic Year 2009-2010