IFSA-Butler Engage Barcelona
With midterm season upon us in the States, I miss Barcelona even more than usual this week! I would gladly trade all the homework I should be working on right now, all the weird spring weather,... Abby M
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Temps fantàstic a Barçelona!
Submitted by Abby M - Durham England Duke University | February 27, 2017
With midterm season upon us in the States, I miss Barcelona even more than usual this week! I would gladly trade all the homework I should be working on right now, all the weird spring weather, and all the sad American lunch meat to be back at the Universitat Autònoma, in the Barcelona sunshine, eating a jamón ibérico sandwich. I'm still in awe of the fact that I was there!
IFSA Butler and their local staff, Academic Solutions, were incredibly supportive during my time abroad. They helped me navigate transfer credit challenges, hooked me up with the perfect internship, and made sure to check up on me (without smothering me) all throughout the semester. I'm so happy with the host family I was matched with, as well! The IFSA staff took my preferences and matched me with a family that also wanted me to get to know them. A friend of mine was matched with a more hands-off host family, just like she wanted!
The Exploring Barcelona: Community and Culture course is really confusing on paper, but straightforward in person: we spent our evenings once a week meeting with the incomparable Núria to talk about our personal identities in relationship to the identities of various neighborhoods in the city. We always ended up talking in amazing restaurants long after the day's lesson had ended. Through the C&C course, I also became familiar with the general workings of current Spanish and Catalan politics (spoiler: it's a mess).
My program internship was in a local music therapy practice run by a distinguished professor at another local university. I got great practice in Spanish and Catalan there; I've been trying to keep up with Catalan back home, but very few of the 4 million Catalan speakers in the world live near my home university. Still, it was great to have the opportunity to learn a new language, if only to facilitate getting coffee that one day I took a solo trip to Andorra!
All in all, 10/10 would recommend studying in or visiting Barcelona, and studying through IFSA Butler if you're interested in holding a local internship and learning about the lives of locals!