For this blog, I thought I would describe my daily routine of going to class and what I do throughout most days during the week in Barcelona. To start off, I have Spanish class each day at 10:15AM, and I have to take the metro to get to the center of town for class. I wake up around 9:00AM each day, leave for the metro around 9:45AM, and get to the center of town and IES Abroad building at 10:05AM. The metro has been super convenient and quick to take each morning! Especially coming from Madison and not really needing to use public transport (or having trains/metros at all), it has been really convenient and probably the best way to get around the city! The IES Abroad building is also located in quite the hub of Barcelona and the center for ‘hustle and bustle’ as some may say, though it is definitely still beautiful and right next to Placa de Catalunya!
After my first Spanish class, which I am in level two and have an awesome professor, I have quite the long break from 11:15AM to 4:00PM. This time can be both productive and dangerous for me depending on the day. Some days, I like to take a different road and explore new places around the area, whether it be finding new cafes to do work at, new boutiques to shop at and even monuments. Today actually I took a new route and ended up at the Arc de Triomf, which I had never taken this route to get here before but it was quite quick and good to know about! Other days, I decide to take the more ‘dangerous’ route and check out the tons of stores around the area. Around IES, you can literally walk to more than four Zaras, El Corte Ingles (monster-sized department store that has everything), three H&Ms, three Bershkas and the list just goes on with stores! Barcelona is a huge fashion city and I notice each time I go shopping how the stores are busy all day long, from when they open to when they close. Although dangerous for the abroad budget to get caught in the habit of shopping a lot, it’s also fun to check out new collections and clothing items, especially when they’re typically pretty different from America and more fashion forward!
After my break, I go to my Photojournalism class at 4:00PM and have my Campaigning and Propaganda class right after until 7:20PM. Honestly, it does feel like a very packed day having class this late, especially when I typically don’t schedule classes later than 5:00PM at Wisconsin, but as I mentioned in a previous blog post, there is not much freedom with scheduling for IES classes. In the first few months, it would be pretty much dark by the time I exited my last class, but now during the end of March and beginning of Apil, it is still a little bright around this time. I am also lucky to have some of my roommates with the same later class, so none of us have to walk back to the metro alone when it’s ‘dark’ and ride the metro alone either.
Getting home around 7:50PM-8:00PM, it depends on the weekly workload what I do when I’m home. Some days, I will go to the gym near my apartment, which was very easy to register for and very similar to gyms in America. Other days I will cook dinner and start trying to get through my homework for the next day. In Barcelona, Mondays and Wednesdays are known as the popular ‘going out’ days, which is very different from at home. The nightlife is also quite different here as well, since dinner is served very late for locals (around 9:00PM!), and people decide to ‘go out’ at midnight or after. When in Barcelona, it is definitely hard to maintain a ‘healthy’ routine if you plan on going out a lot, since you likely will never get as much sleep as you need, especially if you have early classes the next day. Although the nightlife is very fun, there are also nights to stay in and potentially explore the neighborhood you live in. Living pretty close to Sagrada Familia, my roommates and I will occasionally go get dinner, gelato, crepes and churros around the area to relax and finish off a long day of school, exploring and homework!
The days here in Barcelona truly fly by, regardless of the class schedule for the day. Especially when traveling on the weekends, it is sometimes hard to find a moment to relax or take time for yourself. For me personally, I enjoy the busy elements of the abroad schedule because I do not want to have any regrets that I did not see or do everything I wanted to do while I had the chance. Considering how close I am also to this program ending, specifically less than 30 days until I am back home (which is TOO short!), I plan to continue taking advantage of being abroad as much as I can and exploring all that Barcelona has to offer. It’s such a huge city, four months is really not enough time to see all that I want to see and go to all the places I wan too go to, but in these next 30 days I definitely plan on trying!