My time in Barcelona went by a little too fast! I can’t believe that I have to return to Wisconsin so soon. However, I am very happy that I made the most (¡aprovecha!) out of my short time here.
Surely I will miss enjoying sangria with my friends, the beaches, the beautiful streets in Barcelona, gelato, and tapas. The good news is that I can enjoy tapas back in Wisconsin! My host mom taught me how to make tortilla española (she makes the best Spanish omelet!). Patatas bravas and salchichas are easy dishes that I can prepare at home as well. I also plan to buy bottle of sangria to take back to the United States with me. I am very grateful to be able to continue my Spanish experience in Wisconsin.
From my own experience in Barcelona, I have gathered a couple of tips for those of you who plan to study abroad. First off: do it! It’s an amazingly valuable experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. Secondly, I recommend that you study abroad in a city in which you plan to learn or practice the primary language. I didn’t realize how many things wouldn’t be in English in Barcelona. For example, the ads inside the metro stations, labels on the products at the grocery store, and menus in many restaurants were either in Spanish or Catalan. Since I already knew a lot of Spanish prior to my international experience (and learned even more while being in Barcelona), reading menus and labels isn’t a big hassle. However, if you don’t know the local language very well, you can always have some fun and just guess what the ads and the labels mean. That’s what I did whenever I saw signs in Catalan instead of Spanish.
Lastly, I recommend that you be aware of the exchange rate! The dollar is currently weak to the euro, so when I would withdraw 20 euros from the ATM, I would actually be withdrawing almost 30 United States dollars (including the service fee). This can really add up!
All in all, my first time out of the United States was more than I could ever ask for and I am forever grateful for this experience. I am already planning to return Barcelona in a couple of years with my family!
¡Adios Barcelona! ¡Hasta luego!
My favorite place in Barcelona: Parc Güell.
Representing UW-Madison in the mountains of northern Catalonia!
Las Ramblas: one of the many beautiful streets in Barcelona.