Hola todo! My name is Nina and I am a tourism student at the University of Applied Sciences Grisons.
In autumn 2020 I was able to go to Barcelona and study abroad.
Herewith, I would like to give you a short insight of my experience.
To go or not to go – that was the question I had to ask myself a few weeks before my studies abroad in Barcelona were supposed to begin. Since the beginning of my studies at UAS Grisons it was always my goal to experience studying in another country. Driven by this thought, I thankfully made the decision to take the risk and just go for it!
Coming from a small town in the mountains it was very clear to me that I wanted to experience the city life to its fullest. Therefore, I chose to live in the city centre, in the neighbourhood of Eixample, in a shared flat with other international students, rather than on Campus at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona which is located 40min outside of the city.
Even though there were some restrictions due to COVID such as a curfew from 10pm to 6am or closed clubs and bars, I was able to experience the Spanish-Lifestyle as much as it was possible. I went for endless walks through the city and daily explored new streets. Moreover, I spent way too much money on shopping as why not go and have a quick look when you just live around the corner from the shopping streets or eating delicious food whether in a local restaurant or as takeaway at the beach for sunset. Living in a city like Barcelona with the variety of the beach, the city but also the surrounding hills and mountains, it never got boring – and it almost made you forget about the ongoing pandemic. In addition to the variety of the city, there are many must-do trips in Catalunya for example visiting Girona, hiking up the Montserrat or exploring the beaches of Costa Brava.
Funnily enough I can say that the pandemic did actually bring a big advantage to my semester abroad. Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe and therefore can overwhelm with huge crowds anywhere but especially near the most popular attractions. As a travel enthusiast but also a tourism student it was very special experiencing places like Park Guell, Sagrada Familia or the Picasso Museum by myself. It was truly unforgettable.
Oh and yes of course, next to living the Spanish-Lifestyle I also attend University. At the beginning of the semester the lectures were held hybrid, therefore I was even able to go to campus a couple of weeks. It was very impressive experiencing such a big campus because the UAB campus is nothing compared to the UAS Grisons campus. The UAB has almost 14’000 students which is quite different coming from Chur. But by the end of October, we were back to distance learning.
After all, it can be said that of course the experience was totally different to the experience of previous outgoing students. Anyone would have wished for it to be normal, but some things can’t be changed so you have to make the best out of it, which I think I did! I can see myself going back to Barcelona in the future whether it is for work or vacation and then I’ll have the chance to add the things to my list, that I couldn’t do during my semester abroad. And that is just one of many good reasons for me to go back one day.