Erasmus+ Erfahrungsbericht: Barcelona

Looking back from now, my stay abroad turned out to be so different from what I expected it to be in the beginning. Nevertheless, if I had the chance to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing. From the very beginning of my studies, I knew I wanted to go on Erasmus at some point. Back then, I was pretty sure I would decide between Norway or Sweden. However, when things got more serious and the planning phase actually started, I realized that I was very little tempted by the thought of staying up in the north during the cold months. At some point, my mind shifted towards Spain, and when I went through the list of partner institutions, I instantly knew which two preferences I would put into my application form.

Luckily, I got accepted at my first choice, and I could start preparing everything for my stay at the Universitat de Barcelona. I started looking for an apartment in the spring of 2022, but in the end, I decided to move there a few weeks before my classes started, hoping to find cheaper accommodation in person. While desperately viewing a bunch of very run-down places, I regretted this decision immensely. Still, it paid off because after a few weeks of staying in a short-term rental, I found a room in a shared flat that felt like home from the very first day. My roommates are mostly students who are studying in Spain permanently, which I appreciated a lot since they know the city very well and helped me improve my Spanish skills a lot.

I started university around a month after arriving in Barcelona, which I would recommend to everyone given the chance because it gave me a lot of time to get used to my new home without having to follow a schedule yet. I fell in love with living in a big city and all the conveniences it offers very quickly, and I started to make new friends easily. I felt very comfortable and ready when my classes started in the beginning of September.

The first few weeks, nevertheless, were a bit chaotic due to some timetable changes, but the whole team of the international office was very engaged in finding a good solution for every international student in their faculty, so I stayed calm and enjoyed my first courses. I had a lot of fun studying, and I feel like I learned a lot, especially in social and cultural terms.

Regarding the question of whether my stay abroad will be beneficial for my future work as a teacher, I would say 100% yes. In January, I had the opportunity to do an internship at a primary school for a whole month. The time I spent there not only gave me a great insight into the day-to-day life at school but also into the Catalan education system. Sadly, I could not do another school practice in my second semester since there were no more openings, but I was very happy to come back to the class a few times per month from February on in order to teach some English classes.

As I mentioned briefly above, I knew very soon that I would love to stay for a second semester. I am very grateful for the support I received from both my host and home universities, which allowed me to do so very easily. I am pretty sure that the past year has made me grow as a person and left me much more confident and happier than I was before leaving for my stay abroad.

Text & Foto: Frühauf Katharina

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