Study Abroad: Barcelona

So many of you are going abroad next semester.  Luckily for you, I’m already abroad, and I can give you the break down.  Whether you’re still deciding where to go, or you’re excited for your experience in Barcelona, this is gonna help.

I had the hardest time of thinking what I should or could write about Barcelona.  There’s just so many different aspects to it, that thoughts keep flooding my head. Good, bad, maybe both?

Definitely good, if not great. Barcelona could be the abroad home for literally anyone. It took Lana asking me to write something about Barcelona to realize that this city can cater to anyone’s personality.

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Initially, Barcelona seemed like a party-land for me. I went because one of my best friends from school was going. (I go to Vanderbilt.)  What more could I want? I had my best friend to go out with in an epic city and just be #crazy. However, I was rocked by Barcelona’s party schedule.

As a college student, I usually come home around 3-4 AM.  I was just completely not ready for Barcelona and I didn’t even know it. First of all, dinners start late, probably around 11… that is if you want to make it to the pregame around 1 AM. Then, you go out at around 2-3, and don’t come back home until 5-6. Basically you’re out all night and morning, and then on top of that, the city expects you to wake up early and be a real person. Yeah, okay. This is when I realized, partying is hard.

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Then, when classes start, things start to get rough. When you get back home in the morning from a night out and then have to wake up at 8:30 to make it to your 9:15 AM class, you feel like a degenerate.  YOBO? (You only Barcelona once)??  So, if you like to party and think you can keep up or have insomnia and want something to do during your sleepless nights, Barcelona may be the city for you.

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Fortunately, there’s a flipside.  If you’re not the partier and want to go to a fun and cultural city, Barcelona has so much to offer for that as well. You can see beautiful architecture from notorious architects like Gaudí or ride a gondola and see the beautiful Montserrat from waaaaaay up #blesssed. There are famous cathedrals, Catalan culture and history, delicious foods, beautiful parks, great shops, and much more right at your feet. In addition, you can start dabbling in going out. There are plenty of bars and clubs you can go to, to try and see how you like it. Abroad is all about trying new things and dipping your toes in unknown waters. In my opinion, Barcelona has everything to offer: the familiar and the unknown.

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From my month of being abroad, I realized abroad is an experience of what you make. You have the opportunity to re-invent yourself or just learn new things about yourself. My advice: don’t do what other people are doing; simply do you. It may be scary at first, but seriously, be selfish and do your own things. You don’t need your friends to go out or travel. You can have your own schedule and if someone wants to join then that’s sweet, you have company, but if not, then who cares. Abroad is a time to learn new things, meet new people, and build yourself.

Sick Travels,

Priscilla Jeon

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