January 2013 Archives

sid - royal palace madrid.JPG

The view of one half of the city from the Royal Palace was one of my favourite locations, and I came here on both the days I was in Madrid. One can get old just admiring the city line from up above. The first time I saw it I was like I am so coming back here. Unfortunately, I could not get a better picture but this sight was absolutely mesmeric.

~ Siddarth

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Barcelona at Night

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sid - barcelona at night.JPG

I went on the city bus tour on the final day in Barcelona. I repeated one of the tours as I wanted to experience the city lights at night and it was absolutely worth it. Some of the touristic places look stunning at night specially Plaça de Espanya. I must admit it got cold on top of a double-decker bus however the sights of the city more than made up for a little bit of shiver along the way.

~ Siddarth

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While in Madrid...

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sid - madrid.JPG

 I took full advantage of the weekend break to plan an escape to Madrid. I booked myself on the local train (Renfe) which was an experience in itself as it was a sleeper train.

In Madrid, I got the 2-day tour which took me to all the major attractions in Madrid including the Royal Palace and the football stadium of Real Madrid (the biggest soccer club in the world). Madrid was a lot more cosmopolitan than Barcelona with the heart of their city situated in a place called La Plaça del Sol.

Madrid had more tourists than Barcelona, and although the architecture in Barcelona is better than Madrid, the city planning in Madrid is better than Barcelona. It was a fantastic trip with many great memories.

~ Siddarth

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Tourists and Locals

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sid - tourists and locals.JPG

Barcelona is a crowded city and the locals are extremely passionate about food, wine and life in general. Many of them don’t bother keeping their distance while walking however we never faced any kind of problems from anyone. We were always treated warmly and gracefully where ever we went and this was a decisive factor that would draw all of us to downtown Barcelona evening after evening. We all wanted to experience the crowd, the locals, the culture, architecture etc.

 ~ Siddarth

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First Impressions

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sid - first impressions.JPG

On arrival to the university, there was a lot of chaos and mayhem with regard to the room assignments and more so the internet connectivity (which was appalling to say the least). However, we took the advice of Prof, Salas, stuck as one big group and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We went to Plaça Catalunya and were more than thrilled to see different facets of life there. It is probably the nerve centre of Barcelona and all of us had a great time.

~ Siddarth

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Gaudi’s God like Architecture

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sid - gaudi.JPG

Witnessing Gaudi’s amazing architecture was certainly one of the highlights for all of us. They are magnificent buildings spread across the city of Barcelona and each one is a beauty in itself. One of Gaudi’s most famous works is La Sagrada Familia, and although work on the same is still in progress, it is still the most unique of his works.

~ Siddarth

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A Visit to Freixenet

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sid - Freixenet.JPG

This was a fantastic field trip wherein all of us got a first hand insight into the production and distribution of one of Spain leading Vine and Champagne companies. All of us had a great time and really found the visit worthwhile.

~ Siddarth

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Camp Nou Up Close

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sid - camp nou.JPG

I am a soccer fanatic and it was always my dream to watch a game at the ‘mecca’ of soccer, Camp Nou. That dream was realized when I got accepted for the study abroad trip to Barcelona.

I went to watch a football game in the stadium which houses close to 100,000 supporters on any given soccer night. I got good tickets which were right next to the players as I wanted to cash in on the atmosphere of a local cup night and also bought a Barcelona Football club jersey to look like a supporter.

The experience at the stadium was fantastic, I got some great pictures and witnessed Barcelona FC cruise to a comfortable 5 – 0 victory. I got to see some of the star players up-close and it was a fantastic experience just being in one of the best stadiums of the world. The atmosphere was electric and it was a satisfaction of a dream fulfilled.

~ Siddarth

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Missing Home... Not!

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Honestly, I do not miss home that much. It has been a great experience and I have adapted very well to most of the changes. I just go with the routines and try to understand what cannot be changed. We always have to look things from the bright side. At the end, we all had an amazing time and I believe no one is leaving Barcelona without a different mindset of what it feels to live in another culture. 

I'm going to miss the beautiful views and historical buildings. And of course, how sacred is lunch for the Spaniards. They do take their time while eating lunch. I've never seen a Spaniard having lunch on a rush. It says a lot. I got used to it very quickly.

~ Claudia

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Claudia - church.jpgOn Sunday it was rainy and cold, so most of us decided to stay on campus and just go to Bellaterra and grab breakfast at the Cafe. I also had in mind to attend church.

My original plan was to go to mass at the Cathedral in Barcelona, but because of time constraints, it did not happened. After we enjoyed our breakfast, and did some grocery shopping at the minimart, I went to the local church. It was one experience I will never forget.

It felt like if I belonged in the town, as a local. Even though mass was officiated in Catalan and I couldn't understand much of it, the experience was just sensational. I would have never thought I'd be at a church in Spain. A very tiny church, every seat was filled and all the people knew each other. It instantly brought memories back to my childhood. Very similar setting.

It got me a bit melancholic, and transported me to childhood times with my family. When I got out of church, people knew right away I wasn't from town because I just left. While walking down the sidewalk, it started to rain and realized how blessed I was to be able to experience all of this because of a school study program. I had content feelings because of all the memories it brought back.

~ Claudia

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Tonight was our last night in Barcelona. It is incredible how fast time goes by when you are having fun. It is bittersweet leaving the beautiful city of Barcelona. We all went out really early to do some last minute shopping and sightseeing. We made plans to have our last dinner as a group. We toasted for having the opportunity to meet new friends and sharing our experiences with everyone.

The place where we went was a type of American-Spanish cuisine, but it was good. Convenient to the train stop and cheap. Now its time to pack our bags and reflect of the best moments we had in the trip.

~ Claudia

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Advice

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One of the most time consuming experiences so far has been taking the train from UAB to the Barcelona (the actual city). It usually takes 30-45 minutes a ride to Plaça Catalunya. Most of the time, we couldn't plan anything because we could have been late for class.

Another irritating aspect of it was that if we were to take the train after class, we only had couple of hours to get back to UAB and catch the last train. Not to mention how dark  it gets at night on the road between Bellaterra and Vila Universitaria. That could be one of the not-so-great experiences in this trip. But other than that, everything was fabulous.

~ Claudia

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A Toast to Life!

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Claudia - a toast.jpg

Well, one of our big assignments for the course was to make a commercial for Freixenet, targeting the Australian market. We had very specific key points to include in the commercial as well as doing some market research. After we were done with our commercial assignment, we went on a field trip to the actual Freixenet winery. It is still family owned and operated. That is what struck me the most because it is rare to see family owned business still in the market.

Our field trip took place Wednesday, and just a quick note, Freixenet specializes in Cava, a form of sparkling wine that is original from the region of Catalonia. By far it has been one of the most interesting activity from the program. They took us on a winery tour and explained the whole process of Cava making. It was quite amusing how the fermentation process takes place, and how actually it becomes a sparkling wine. At the end of the tour we all had a toast dedicated to great times. 

~ Claudia

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UAB Campus

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Claudia - uab.jpg

The Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a very large campus. Most of the students commute to school. It is very convenient for them because there are actually two train stops at the university. Students are always seen with a group of friends while walking through out the university. They take time to enjoy some time with their friends to grab a coffee or just relax between classes. Also, their cafeteria in Plaça Civica is where most students go for lunch. Some of them bring their own lunch; which it means its much tastier than cafeteria food. It is common to see students carry their lunch packs around the school. In the cafeteria, they all sit with their group of friends and enjoy their lunch break. Its rare seeing one person eating alone in the cafeteria.

~ Claudia

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Tapas on Las Ramblas

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Claudia - dining .jpg

That first night we went to have Tapas for dinner around Las Ramblas, a very tourist area where sometimes it gets too crowded. Food was good, but advice for future students; stay away from Las Ramblas and go further into the city neighborhoods. Because that’s where the locals hang out. Pretty much Las Ramblas is ``where you will find a lot of stores, restaurants and currency exchange centers.

~ Claudia

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Plaça Catalunya

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Claudia - placa catalunya.jpg

Barcelona has truly been a wonderful city. My very first encounter with the city was the night we went as a group to Plaça Catalunya. As I was exiting the train station, old historic buildings were everywhere I looked. Just beautiful.It was a moment that I will never forget.

~ Claudia

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City Bus Tour

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Claudia - Bus Tour.jpg

Some of us had the opportunity to ride on a SightSeeing City Bus. It was great because it takes you around the whole city, and gave us the chance to hop on and off at different stops to explore other areas of the city that are still interesting and beautiful.

~ Claudia

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Ole!

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Jen - Flamenco Show.JPGClaudia and I found this place not too far and not too expensive where they held a flamenco show. We arrived and we were the only ones in the place! (there was a Barcelona game that night)

When they started the show it was so cool! There were 3 dancers, a guitarist, and a singer. They asked us where we came from and they seemed so relaxed and passionate for what they were doing! They seemed to be having so much fun which in turn made us have more fun and enjoy their performance a little more.

At the end, they made us go up and pretend or try to dance with them so that we could take pictures and enjoy being part of the show. It was a great and once in a life time experience having a show to ourselves and being part of it as well...when in Spain you MUST watch a flamenco show!!!!!!!!!!

~ Jennifer

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CHOCOLATE!!!

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Jen - Chocolate.JPGI LOVE CHOCOLATE!!!!!! I was sooo, sooo, sooo, sooo excited when we went into this little place where they sell crepes. I found a chocolate cake that looked oh sooo delicious!!! We went back twice because I couldn't get it the first time and we are planning on going again before we had to leave.

The workers, young guys, are very freindly, polite, smile and wink at you. Its a nice place to go  ;)  The crepes were delicious and they also have natural fruit drinks which are great! This place definately won me over and made my days a little better  :)

~ Jennifer

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Buddies From Around The World

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Jen - Freixenet Group Pic.JPGBecause of the way the program allowed us to work with different people, I got to make new friends from around the globe. I can now say I have friends in Europe and Asia.

The students here were super-duper friendly and willing to help us out in anything and everything. They were so helpful when it came to helping out with projects (some more than others) and EXTREMELY helpful on telling us good places for food and drinks. It was a great experience meeting new people and joining in mutual interests.  :)

~ Jennifer

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Freixenet Wooop!

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Jen - Freixenet.JPGThis trip was interesting and a fun experience. I am very thankful for being allowed to see how all of this cava, which is so important to this region, is made. I now know that this is a very important aspect of life here due to the amount that is sold and exported globally.

I didn't really notice how much one product could entail, the huge warehouses, the humungous amount of bottles and the patience needed to prepare every single bottle. It was cool to see first hand something this unique.

~ Jennifer

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Roommate Bonding

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Jen - Roommate Bonding.JPGOne night, Claudia and I decided we wanted to stay in and make our own dinner. We went to the little market and got ravioli-looking thingies with spinach and cheese in them, zucchini, and tomato sauce, and bread. We cooked with no oils and as "healthy" as we could. This was one of my best dinners, not only because I made it....but because we made it all from scratch from what we could find in the market. It was really good!!  :D

~ Jennifer

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The UAB View

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Jen - UAB.JPGThis is the view of the Hotel Campus from our villa room. The campus is very pretty! Its different in a way but also similar. Its built on a mountain so it is SO DIFFICULT to walk around! It gets so tiring when you're in a rush to get places.

The students here don't seem as involved as in our school. There are fewer ads around campus and flyers about clubs and such. But this campus is very pretty in its setting, it has a gorgeous view and scenery all around. :)

~ Jennifer

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Perfect For Any Occasion

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Jen - Parc Guell.JPGSo this little bench that is seen behind me (the people's feet) is at the Park Guell.

While we were going up the stairs, I noticed a young man knelt in front of a young woman. I saw her get up with a huge smile and hug him and immediately knew what had just happened! They got engaged! Woo...!! I have no idea who they were but the man proposed right in the entrance of the park with the beautiful scenery and romantic background and feeling of this park.

I thought that moment was priceless to be able to watch...  aww...   <3

~ Jennifer

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La Sagrada Familia

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Jen - Sagrada Familia.JPGThis place is just incredible! I can say that this has been one of the most beautiful places i have seen. The detail on every piece of this place is just gorgeous. I had heard so much about this church but never would words be able to describe how beautiful and elegant, how detailed and specific it is. It tells stories around it, and noticing the difference between the front side and the back side was pretty cool how it changes so drastically. I thought it was just awesome to see it and stand in front of such an amazing piece of artwork.

~ Jennifer

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Plaça Catalunya

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Jen - Placa Catalunya.JPGI found this fountain to be one of the cutest things about Plaça Catalunya. It is a very touristic area but this fountain and the flowers give it a "pueblo" look...  :) I think it makes it feel like a different side even though its right there in the middle. I found it pretty cool and adorable how it loked  :)

~ Jennifer

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Premature Happiness :-(

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Jen - Starbucks.JPGI was so incredibly happy and excited when Prof. Salas said Starbucks was around here! I LOVE Starbucks! But my happiness was so premature!

I have yet to get Starbucks while here - and I don't need or want it! The coffee here is soooooooooooo GOOD!!! I'm in love! <3  I wish I could take the coffee machine with me, and always wake up to a nice hot cup of this amazing deliciousness  :D 

I have to say I am very sad to leave my love behind..  :(

~Jennifer

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The Crew <3

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Jen - Hands.JPGI have to admit, at first I thought this experience was going to be a lot worst. None of us really knew each other before and we were going to have to deal with each other for 2 weeks.

My first impression was "Ugh, these people are going to be all to themselves and not socialize..." But, gladly I can say that we all pretty much got along really well!! It was the complete opposite!

By the time we reached Barcelona we had all spoken to each other and familiarized with one another.  We went out together, made our family dinners, and hung out. We became decent friends (given the time limit) and bonded. I think we will at least have many fun and crazy memories that none of us will ever forget. Great times we shared like we might never have again <3

~ Jennifer

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My True Love....

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Jen - Cafe.JPGThis has been my new love since the first sip! AMAZING! I will miss this so very very much!! This coffee is just perfect! It hugs and embraces your taste buds and just makes me feel happy no matter how early it is and how late I slept the night before. It doesn't matter, this will make anyone feel better in a jiffy! Amazing stuff....my new found love (it loves me too...you can see the heart it made for me)    :)

~ Jennifer

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Barça!! Barça!! Barça!!

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Jen - Barca Game.JPGSo, I accidentally somehow deleted all my pictures from my camera from the first couple of days, so my journey began at the Barcelona game. It was pretty cool! We pretty much died getting up the trillion stairs to where we were sitting but the view was awesome! It wasn't full because it was a minor game but we won so the amp was still full on! :) I know all my futbol fanatic friends are super jealous!

~ Jennifer

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Wok to Walk

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Sara - Wok to Walk.JPGChinese food in Barcelona??

Well yes, there was and it was delicious! It had a familiar fast food pace, and the food was excellent. We went there to grab some lunch and we all talked about how it would do really well in the U.S. Once we order, we were able to see them cook it! There were three chefs, so even though the line was long, we got our food in 10 minutes.

One thing I liked about Wok to Walk was that they put the food in to go containers, so you could decide if you wanted to eat in or take as you walk. I think that was very efficient of the company to save money.

~ Sara

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Picasso Museum Adventure

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Sara - Museu Picasso.JPGGoing to the Picasso Museum was an adventure because we didn’t know how to get there. We decided to go because it was free after 3. So, we took the train to Plata Cataluña and walked the rest of the way to the museum. We had to ask for directions a couple times, and each one said to walk down these alley streets that were filled with shops.

It happened to be very safe and neat to see smaller stores. I’m glad we went on this adventure because we found a new way on our own to the Picasso museum. We wouldn’t have found it if we went by metro. We ended up seeing a lot more of Barcelona than we would have.

~ Sara

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El Tren

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Ashlyn - Train.JPGThe main form of transportation here is the train. During a trip to and from the city we spend about 1hr 30min to 2hrs on the train. Sometimes it is extremely crowded, and others it is completely empty.

We always had a lot of fun on the train and saw a multitude of interesting people, including what we call street performers who would play some sort of instrument and then come around with his little cup hoping for some change.

There's just one issue I have with the train...train sickness. So a tip to travelers who get any sort of motion sickness, pack some Dramamine or bonnie just in case and always face forward!

~ Ashlyn

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How Do We Get There?

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On our way to Barcelona we all came across one question - who is picking us up from the airport? A question no one had the answer to. We felt confused because we had no form of communication. All of our cell phones did not work internationally and given the fact that we did not received any emails stating our arrival transportation.

We just went along and once arrived in Barcelona. As we were exiting the baggage area, we looked for a UML sign. We felt relieved when we saw Prof. Salas and Prof. Yancy waiting for us with big smiles. They had provided us with our own bus (very comfortable by the way) to take us directly to Vila Universitaria at the UAB campus. It was confusing at first but then we were just happy and excited to be in Barcelona.

~ Claudia

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Port Vella

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Adam - Sailboats.jpgOn Saturday we took the city bus tour and explored Barcelona. One of our stops was Port Vella. We sat on the roof of a restaurant and ate lunch. The food was good but the view was great. We stopped to take pictures in front of all of the sailboats. The water was so clear that we could see the bottom of the ocean. It was one of my favorite places to go.

~ Adam

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Local Cafe

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Adam - coffee shop.jpg

The campus we are at is near a small town called Bellaterra. One day we decided to go visit to see where we were staying. We found a small little cafe. Inside was a many different spices, pastas, and jellys. They also made fresh pastries daily and had great coffee.

One Sunday morning we were all hanging out there and ate breakfast. We tried our best to communicate with the workers and they liked us so much they gave us free samples of the cheese ball the owner made only on the weekends and it was fresh. It was delicious.

We go there whenever possible to just sit and enjoy a coffee.

~ Adam

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ATMs and Foreign Travel

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Kelsey - atm.jpg

So, when I arrived in Barcelona I exchanged some US dollars for Euros. This only lasted me a couple of days so when I went to visit the ATM machine before going into the city, I was surprised to see that the machine told me there was an error. I tried a couple of times and when I still had the error message, I panicked.

I probably spent way too much money going back and forth with my bank over the phone trying to figure out the problem. I was literally almost in tears when I texted my sister and asked her to go through my wallet at home and figure out if I had the right pin number. Come to find out, I was 1 number off and felt like a complete idiot. I don't use my debit card a lot at home, so that would explain why I didn't have the number right.

The picture shows my expression when I finally got the number right and had access to my money.

Advice to students traveling abroad: MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE RIGHT PIN NUMBER FOR YOUR DEBIT CARD.

~ Kelsey

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Picasso Museum

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Adam - Picasso Pigeons.jpgOn Sunday we found out that after 3 PM it was free to go to the Picasso Museum. So we took the train into the city and found the museum. The line was out the door and around the corner. Once we got inside we saw most of Picasso's early work. One of my favorites was the one of the pigeons. We had a good time and got to see a lot of cool art work. Overall, it was a good day and I would recommend anyone to go if they get the chance to come to Barcelona.

~Adam

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Gelato

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Alyssa - gelato.jpg

We were searching through the city for a good dessert place and we came across a little gelato shop. We went inside and there were so many flavors. You got to pick the cone size (small, medium, large) and then three flavors of ice cream. You can choose three of the same or three different. I chose chocolate and mango.

Once you choose your flavors, they shape your gelato into a flower! It was so cute and tasted very yummy! Definitely a good choice.

~ Alyssa

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First Train Ride

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Alyssa - first train ride.jpg

We quickly learned how to get around the city by metro and train. Our first train ride into the city was an interesting experience. We had to buy T-10s which got costly. It was about twenty euros for one, and with the amount of traveling we have done from our villa to the city, we could have better invested our money with buying a T-30 or T-50.

The T-10 allowed ten train rides and you have to swipe every time you get off or onto the train. So a T-30 or T-50 would have gotten us more rides and probably would have saved us some money.

The trains are MUCH cleaner than the Lowell or Boston trains, and overall, the rides were not that bad. It was a 40-45 minute ride into the city. But once we were there it was worth it. There was so much to do and see.

~ Alyssa

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Paella in Barcelona

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Ettore - Paella.JPG

This dish is called Paella. A typical Paella has rice and various sea food in it. I don’t like seafood so I got the chicken Paella. When they first brought it out I thought it was a huge plate and I couldn’t finish it. However, the dish was very thin, and it wasn't as much as I thought it would be.

I recommend getting Paella, Tapas, and churros con chocolate. You won’t be disappointed.

 

~ Ettore

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La Sagrada Familia

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Ettore - Sagrada Familia.JPGThis was my second time seeing the Sagrada Familia. It's an architecture master piece. It's been under construction for over 50 years now. It's been a slow process because of civil wars and money issues. When seeing the building, their is a lot of detail. You can also tell what is old and new by the color of the parts of the building.

And again, the line to go into the Sagrada Familia was very long and we didn't go in. Next time I go to Barcelona I will go into it, no matter how long the line is.

~ Ettore

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Camp Nou

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Ettore -  Barca Game.JPGOn Thursday Night we went to see Barcelona F.C vs Cordoba C.F in a Copa del Rey Match. Barcelona's stadium is the Camp Nou and it can hold almost 100,000 people. This match was not an important one, so there wasn't that many people in the stands. However, the atmosphere was like watching a football or baseball game in the States.

I had been to the Camp Nou two years ago for a tour and it was amazing. You could see the locker room, the trophies, press box, and went on the field.

~ Ettore

Visit to Roca

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Kelsey - Roca.jpg

I thought the field trip to Roca was very interesting. Their products are very beautiful and unique and I would love to deck my bathroom out in Roca someday. The office or "showroom" was very innovative. The walls were made out of multiple thick panels of glass that were lit at night and reflected color to make a rainbow. It was very cool. I thought that the fact that Roca is family owned is not common anymore so that was definitely something to appreciate.

Before we were at Roca, we visited the shopping mall L'illa. We were there to observe a specific topic of the mall, mine being the mall layout and variety of stores. I thought the amount of time we had to observe (2 hours) was way too much. We did our walking and observing and then found a coffee shop to kill some time. I saw that many other groups were aimlessly walking around also because they were done with their observing as well. I definitely liked the Roca trip better than the mall (which is not what I expected, because I love shopping!)

~ Kelsey

Kelsey - UAB view.jpg

I love the University we are at, I just wish we could pick it up and move it into the city. The time we have spent traveling is almost ridiculous and by the time we are out of class and get into the city, it is pretty late and all we want to do is eat and go back to our rooms.

I thought that when we first arrived at the University things were pretty disorganized. We didn't know where our building was, who we were rooming with (I was originally put with Ettore) and it took us some time to get settled. After arriving at my room where I had no roommate, I realized I was basically on the opposite of the building from everyone else. It was pretty scary being down there especially since we don't really have anyone else staying in our building.

The next day, I was asked to be moved and who knew I would get what seems like the biggest room with the most gorgeous view. I have been keeping my shades open at night so that I will wake up to my view. That is probably the one thing I will miss the most about Barcelona.

~ Kelsey

La Sagrada Familia

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Sara - Sagrada Familia.JPGWe went to La Sagrada Familia which is the one thing I wanted to see while on this trip! It meant a lot for me to visit the church because on Christmas, my mom bought me a Sagrada Familia Charm for my charm bracelet. It was such a meaningful gift, and I knew that once I saw it in person, I was going to remember it through that charm.

I think the architecture was amazing. I didn’t know it was still being built. But I’m glad they are taking their time because it is beautifully done, and has a tone of details. The line to get inside the Church was incredibly long. I wish we could have gone inside but I enjoyed seeing the outside.

There were artists’ painting of La Sagrada Familia that was beautiful but it was expensive. I wish I could have spent money for it. That’s why I’m glad I have pictures and the charm to remember La Sagrada Familia.

~ Sara

Going to Class

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Sara - Classroom.JPGThe first day of class was very interesting because we had no idea who the other kids were going to be. We show up and as soon as the class starts the other kids contributing, and providing examples towards their specific countries.

They sound so smart and it was very intimidating. It wasn’t until they took us out to dinner and talked for us to get comfortable. We found out that they are all graduate students, all in their mid-20s, and studying here for their masters. SO different than us, but I saw it as seeing people that we could potentially be within the next 10 years.

It definitely got me thinking about studying abroad for my masters, and most of the encouraged me when we talked about it. I am so glad that we were able to meet other international students. It made the class a lot more interesting with class discussions and I learned so many new things. I learned that the Netherlands have 26 options to vote. In China, they are very afraid to fail and that’s one reason why they don’t take risks often. 

It would be amazing to meet new people like that each time I went abroad, so it’s definitely something I would keep in mind when looking for graduate schools.

~ Sara

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GOAL!!

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Kelsey -  Barca Game.JPG

Last Thursday we went to the football game. We bought our tickets in advance from a ticket vendor on Las Ramblas and had to go to a sort of "will call" to pick them up. We were waiting patiently in line after having to run to the back of the stadium (our papers said the windows close 30 minutes before the game starts) and when it was our turn, the window was slammed in our faces. We stepped into the next line and 10 minutes later the other window opened back up. 

After walking up what seemed like a million very steep stairs, we reached our seats. We were basically in the "nose bleed section" but nonetheless it was pretty awesome. We were behind the goal area which gave us a pretty good view. The stadium was like nothing I've ever seen before, it was massive. Sid was in a different section than us, so the photo doesn't include him.

I am very excited we got the opportunity to go to one of the games because it is something huge in Barcelona. Even though I don't like soccer, it was a great time.

~ Kelsey

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Cava by Freixenet

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Ettore - Freixenet.JPGWe visited the company, Freixenet, who specialize in cava. When entering the building, the first thing you smell is champagne. It was interesting to see how they make cava and the history of making it. Walking around the cellars to see all of the cava that has been sitting their for over 20 years was awesome.

~ Ettore

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Parc Guell

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Ettore - Parc Guell.JPGThis was my first time visiting Parc Guell. I've never seen architecture so interesting. The architecture in Barcelona is what makes this city so amazing. The Parc has an amazing view of the whole city. My favorite part of the Parc Guell is the dragon at the entrance of the Parc.

~ Ettore

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La Comida

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Sara - Food.JPGThese are a few things I ate while I was here in Barcelona. I am not one who likes to experiment with new foods. My mom was actually worried that I wasn’t going to eat while being here because she knows how picky I am. However!  . . I told myself to be adventurous. That meant to not ask what I was eating, but just to eat it! I think it’s better to do that and I recommend to those who will try to go abroad in the future to push yourself to just try new things. I know there was one dessert that nobody liked but I believe everyone took one taste. And then afterwards, I found myself comparing the food that I just ate with foods that I normally eat, such as pizza, chicken, and Chinese food.

~ Sara

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El Corte Ingles

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Sara - Corte Ingles.JPGWhen we first walked around Las Ramblas, Kelsey had asked me, “What’s that building?” as she pointed to El Corte Ingles. I had never heard of one store being as many as 9 floors big. I have seen malls in Massachusetts such as the Natick Mall that has big size department stores, but only three or four floors. When I walked around in El Corte Ingles, it looked a lot like the department stores in the U.S, such as Macys, Target, and Wal-Mart.

The one big difference that I saw was the grocery store was on the bottom level. I know in the U.S bigger stores are now adding a grocery section but it’s not as big as the grocery store I saw in Corte Ingles. It seemed odd to me that you would buy your groceries at the same time you’d shop for clothes. I can’t see my mom doing that because she buys groceries for the week. It is definitely interesting to see especially because it is not common in the U.S.

~ Sara

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Farmer's Market

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Alyssa - Farmers Market.jpgWe found an awesome farmer's market on Las Ramblas. We got most of our food there that we used to make our family dinner. The food was great, except for the shrimp (which Kelsey already mentioned). But other than that the farmer's market had so many fresh veggies and fruits that all looked so yummy! It was a cool experience to see how the locals ordered there food. They had legs of meat which grossed me out and they didn't have things refrigerated that we normally would. It was fun!

~Alyssa

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Kelsey's Neighbors

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Alyssa - Kelsey's Neighbors - goats.jpgKelsey got an amazing view from her room! It just so happens she made a few friends outside. The first day she was in her room there was a bunch of goats outside of her room grazing in the sun. So not only was the view amazing but we got to see the most adorable little goats :)

~ Alyssa

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Our Classroom

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Adam - class.jpgThis was one of our first day of classes. The picture is of Ettore, Claudia, Jen and myself. The classrooms are MUCH different than UMASS Lowell. The room is much more modern. The seats are very comfortable and the desktops pop out from the sides!

~ Adam

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Tapas

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Adam - tapas.jpgOn our first night we went out to eat and got tapas. Tapas are small plates that we all got to share. The food was delicious and the restaurant was very quaint. The name of the restaurant was Cerdeceria. Ettore actually recommended it because when he came to Barcelona two summers ago he said the food was awesome, and he was right.

~ Adam

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Cooking Dinner....

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Kelsey - first supper.jpg

On one of our first nights here, we decided to make dinner in my room. We all went to the farmer's market on Las Ramblas and got pasta, shrimp, veggies, bread, and all the other misc items we needed to have a successful dinner. We had a great time and everyone did their part bringing a part of the meal to their own room to cook (only 2 burners per room). For the most part dinner was a success, except for the shrimp and pasta sauce. We have no idea what happened with the shrimp but let's just say it was creamy and we didn't put any sort of cream substance in with the cooking. The alfredo sauce...well that's another story. It didn't exactly go as planned, so a couple people had to run down to the store for some canned tomato sauce....and brought back a big box of chocolate covered croissants. 

Needless to say, we had a great first family supper.

~ Kelsey

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The Coffee is Amazing

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Alyssa - Coffee.JPG

The coffee here is better than anything we could get in the States. That is one thing I know Kelsey, Adam, and I will definitely miss when we leave. Not to mention the fact they put a heart on my cappuccino with cinnamon, it was adorable.

I don't know if I will ever be able to drink Dunkin' Donuts coffee again!

~ Alyssa

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A View of the City

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Ashlyn - View of City.JPGDuring one of our free days we took a tour of the city. One of the stops was Park Güell, a park designed by Antoni Gaudi. After climbing up an exhausting amount of stairs we could see this beautiful view of the city. Out of everything we have seen, this has been my favorite. 

~ Ashlyn

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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