Where do I even begin?
First of all, I got the same feeling upon arriving in Barcelona that I got when moving into my dorm my freshman year at Iowa. I knew I had made the right decision, and that I would enjoy the time to come.
I flew in a few days early to save costs on plane tickets, which turned out to be a great thing. Before the program had even started, I met a new bff (Lena) and a friend of a friend who is now a friend (Hass). I got lost in the city, found my way back, and tried my hand at the Metro. I took a bus tour and saw most of Barcelona’s most famous sites. Most importantly, I got to sample the food before everyone else (including the most delicious breakfast buffet I’ve ever been privileged to eat, at the hotel where I was staying).
Soon enough, the rest of the students arrived – all 100 of them. Our program is huge. I met some new people and my circle expanded. One of my biggest “fears,” if you could even call it that, was that it would be hard to make quality friends. Somehow I managed to find a group that I am absolutely in love with, and it took mere days, if that. We spent the first couple of days orienting ourselves to our new home – learning about the city, the academics, and moving in.
I decided to live with a host family to get the most authentic experience possible. My host mom is Imma – a beautiful Spanish woman with a big heart. She has a son who is currently living with her ex-husband. I also have a roommate – another girl in the program. We all make up an interesting little family and I wouldn’t trade it. Imma is a wealth of information about the city and especially el Barrio Gracia, our neighborhood. She’s also a gnarly cook.
I’ve never lived in a city before (Iowa City doesn’t count), so Barcelona is certainly a change of pace for this “farm girl.” I’m starting to get the hang of the Metro and bus system, which are the easiest and most efficient ways to get around. Today I started my classes – just Spanish for now, but Catalan and International Marketing tomorrow. Things move quick here, which is just fine by me!
My next post will be a more in-depth look at Barcelona and what characterizes it. Until then, hasta luego!