AIFS Study Abroad Blog

First Impressions of Studying Abroad in Barcelona

For some students, their study abroad programs could be the first time that they have ever left the United States. This was the case for Day Day Padilla, one of our study abroad students in Barcelona, Spain. Having never left the United States or visited Europe before, Day Day shares what her first impressions of studying abroad in Barcelona were:

“Studying abroad and travelling the world is like a fairy-tale to me. I have lived in Azusa California my whole life; this never seemed like something I would have the opportunity to do. It wasn’t until I took an Art class at Citrus College and heard that my Art teacher was going to teach abroad in Barcelona, Spain that I was inspired to study abroad. It’s now been two weeks since I moved here and I’d like to share what my first impressions of studying abroad in Barcelona are:

You get to meet lots of people

Before the program had even begun, I was lucky enough to meet five girls who were also studying abroad. We had all decided to book the same flight together. After a layover in Switzerland, we arrived in Barcelona at 11pm. We had decided to book a hostel near the beach and honestly, I was a little nervous about staying in the hostel because it was only 16 euros a night – it seemed a bit too good to be true! However, my initial fears were for nothing as I ended up loving the hostel. I got to meet different people from different countries. We bonded over playing cards, drinking sangria, playing music and going for dollar tapas!

You walk so far

On our second day, my five new friends and I began exploring Barcelona. I downloaded a walking app to track how much I walked because I had heard that you do a lot of walking in Barcelona. Everything is so different out here than it is back a home. There are a ton of shops everywhere with so many different things to do. They are easily walkable and you don’t realize how far you walk. We walked nine miles in a day!

Art is everywhere

One thing I have noticed living in Barcelona is that there is art everywhere. The buildings and art in Barcelona are amazing! Within the 2 weeks I have been here I have already seen Placa s’Espanya, Montjuic, the Sagrada Familia, Passeig de Gracia, Ramblas, Montserrat, and Sitges.

I’m also living in an apartment that is just over the street from a skate park. The walls of the skate park are covered in art work. Every day there are new artists painting new pieces. I love waking up and walking to school because I get to see new art every day.

Travelling in Europe can be very cheap

Another benefit of living here is that flights are cheap. This means that you can travel around Europe quickly and cheaply. For example, I just booked a round trip flight to Paris and London for only $40. I’m so excited to explore even more of Europe.

Overall, I love living in Barcelona and I am starting to consider moving out here. I walk on average 6 miles a day and I love every moment of it. I’m looking forward to exploring more of the city, more of Europe and learning more through new experiences; this month I will also be going to see my first professional Soccer game! I strongly recommend students to study abroad because it is a life changing experience and it makes you open your eyes to how amazing life can be.”

This content was contributed by Day Day Padilla, one of our student bloggers. She is studying abroad this Spring on an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led program in Barcelona, Spain through Citrus College.

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