Wait, what? Summer is almost over? It is completely impossible for it to already be August 22. Time has clearly played a trick on us all. AHHHH!
Good news is, I’ve had an INCREDIBLE summer! Bad news is, I haven’t been able to tell you all about it ‘til now…. But here I go!
Ok, so this summer I had the ridiculously, amazing opportunity to say, “Psh… summer? Who would ever want to stop studying for three months?” and take a summer class…. In BARCELONA!
That’s right! I went with the Harvard Summer Study Abroad to Barcelona, Spain to learn about Barcelonan art, architecture, and culture. I got to speak all sorts of Spanish, pretend to know Catalan, eat yummy food, travel to Paris and Rome, soak up the sun on the beach… oh right, and go to class. Of course.
When I went, I knew absolutely none of the other kids on the program. They were all rising sophomores and juniors from Harvard, but for whatever reason I’d never met any of them. I love meeting new people, so this didn’t bother me, but I still did not know what to expect.
It was one of the best summers of my life.
Me in front of the Sagrada Familia!
We lived in a summer student housing residence in large singles. Not only was each single relatively big, but each had its own full bathroom and kitchenette! Our classroom was located in the historic main building of the University of Barcelona, and we got to learn all of the ins-and-outs of the city’s super-efficient metro. We only had class Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of every week, so this meant four full days every weekend to explore and travel!
An average school day went as follows:
- 9:15 – Wake up to enjoy the Residence’s complimentary breakfast of croissants, fruit, and expresso (I am now an addict).
- 10:15 – Leave the Residence to walk to the metro station. Wait a maximum of four minutes for the metro to arrive. Ride to school.
- 11:00 – 1:00 – Learn about Barcelonan history, art, architecture, and city planning.
- 1:00 – 5:30 – SIESTA! This means eat, sleep, explore, shop, go to the beach, do homework, etc.
- 5:30- 8:30 – Itinerario, which was our term for class-led field trips around Barcelona to see the buildings that we had learned about in class.
- 9:00ish – Dinner. Because Barcelona is a pretty touristy area, the food can be expensive. We went out to eat some, but we mostly utilized the kitchenettes in our rooms, which meant LOOK OUT WORLD! I LEARNED TO COOK! That’s right, I can now make eggs in every style you can possible imagine (including poached, thank you very much), and a mean orange chicken.
- 10:30 – If we didn’t have a lot of work, a lot of the times we went out. Barcelona has all sorts of cool things to see at night, and why would you want to miss out on such an intrinsic part of the cultural experience, right?
Beyond all of that, I also made some incredible friends, who I know I will stay close with during the next three years of my Harvard experience.
The whole group with a view of Barcelona in the background
Now that I’m home, I can’t wait to go back to school!