Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

The first Seven Days

It has officially been a full week of living in Barcelona, Spain! I’m not quite sure where to start on explaining how I feel, what I have done, and learned thus far. I guess the best way to describe my initial feelings of my first week are in some ways similar to how an infant feels during their first week of life. I’m sure the baby feels overwhelmed and excited by the concept of a different world outside its mother’s womb; as well as the feeling of helplessness because it’s hard to communicate with others. So in so many words I feel EXACTLY like an infant fresh out of the womb of America!

Sorry I know that is probably an awkward analogy, but it is truly the best way to sum up my first few days here in Spain. Everything about Barcelona is so different from the world I was accustomed to; the language, food, and the overall way of life. I know this is quite obvious being in a whole new country, but I guess I hadn’t really thought about the, “newness” of it all. I have learned so much about my host country in such a small amount of time, I could literally write a novel titled, “The first Seven days in a New Country.” Unfortunately I don’t have time for that, on the bright side I can share some of the major things that I have discovered about Barcelona which is FULL of rich history and beautiful architecture.

I had the honor of seeing some of Barcelona’s prestigious attractions; La Rambla which is a famous street that consist of many theatres, stores and cafes, as well as beautiful modern buildings. Another amazing place that’s not too far from la Rambla is the Boqueria Market, which is by far the most beautiful market I have ever seen full of fresh food! I have learned that a lot of neighborhoods have their own markets, but nothing compares to the Boqueria. Other places include the Gothic Quarter which is the center of the ancient city of Barcelona. This place dates back to Roman time, and is full of medieval buildings! Words can’t even express how beautiful this part of Barcelona is. I can seriously go on and on about the striking places of Barcelona, but that would be impossible.

One of my absolute favorite things about Barcelona, is hands down the food (CLASSIC); it’s only right to talk about the food because it’s a huge part of the culture here. Despite not knowing what I am eating most of the time, Spain knows how to do it right when it comes to food. Everything from the Tapas, (best described as appetizers before the main course) to the deserts, is like a blast of fresh flavors that I feel as though America has robbed me of! You can literally find AT LEAST five cafes on every block and not to mention the multitude of restaurants.

I am absolutely infatuated by my new home, but I must be honest, there are also some struggles that I have faced this first week. The language barrier is an obstacle within itself, which interestingly enough there are two, both Spanish and Catalan. Also not knowing how to distinguish between the different streets and having to be THAT girl who pulls out a huge map every few minutes, and ultimately being uninformed about certain social norms. Overall it has been quite the adventure so far, I know this is just the beginning and I’m extremely excited and somewhat nervous about what else Barcelona has in store for me!

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