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Report – Barcelona Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (written by Marlene Kapeller)

Sitges (Photo by Marlene Kapeller)

My planned 6 month stay in Barcelona, unfortunately, became a stay of 6 weeks because of COVID-19. Nevertheless I am infinitely grateful that I was able to make this experience for this short time on site.

I could probably write a whole book about what I experienced alone in 6 weeks and how much I miss this time. It was certainly the best time of my life. I got to know so many new people, cultures, places and many more things that I will never forget. In the first two weeks it was all about small talk and getting to know the people. After this settling in phase we quickly found ourselves as a group with which we got to experience many adventures. I myself have gained so much more personality and I
am not so shy when it comes to meeting new people anymore. I could not be more thankful for the whole Erasmus semester.

School practice

I got the opportunity to do my internship in a school called “La Roureda” in Sabdaell. When I think back to the two weeks of internship, I notice so many positive things. Right from the beginning we were welcomed with open arms and felt how grateful everyone was that we were supporting them with our contributions. Our local coordinator, Esther, was very helpful and we also received many materials from her.

At the beginning we got a plan when we should be prepared for which topics. But on the first day we were quite overwhelmed that we had to teach things like the solar system and the French Revolution. We had not been told this before and we were quite surprised. I was very happy that I had my computer with me and could connect the internet from my mobile phone to it. Otherwise I would have been quite aimless and would not have been able to hold the lessons. Nevertheless, I am very glad that we were thrown into the deep end, because I have learned to be more
spontaneous and this helps me a lot in my future. I also think it’s great that we had to teach every single lesson ourselves, because when we talked to our colleagues at the university, they often told us that they were only observing and not teaching on their own.

By teaching I have not only improved my English skills, but I have also collected many ideas which I can implement and use in my future as a teacher. In addition, I have also gained a lot of practice in teaching English, as I have to teach this subject at home. During the two weeks we had to
present our country presentations almost thirty times, which became very tedious over time, but every class should have the opportunity to hear them.

After we had to go home because of COVID-19, we immediately got in contact with our coordinator. Together with her we decided to change our internship online. Therefore, we had to send her activities or videos every week, which we uploaded to our Youtube channel afterwards. We always got great and helpful feedback from Esther. We are happy to see that the offer is gladly accepted by the students, because we got pictures and saw that our videos were clicked on very often.

I am very thankful that I was able to do my internship at this school as I was able to take a lot with me for my teaching career. I will also be able to continue to use the online lessons in the future. I could not have wished for a better school and internship group for my time as an Erasmus student.

University

I studied at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, where I could join the E3 program, which was completely organized. Also when COVID- 19 came we were able to finish our semester online without any problems. We were less than 20 people which was really nice because we got to know each other better and were able to work together very well after a
few days.

At the beginning I was overwhelmed by how big the university is, so that there are even several bus lines just around the campus that take you from one institute to the next. There were several cafeterias where the food was cheap and tasty. There we always met with our friends during the breaks and had lunch together. We also had the opportunity to visit many different events. One highlight was a party at the university which was more like a festival on Carneval.

The city

Barcelona is one of the most beautiful and cultural cities I have ever seen. The city offers endless possibilities. From hiking, going to the beach, surfing or just shopping, this city has everything to offer. No matter what time of day, you will always find an opportunity for entertainment. If you want to, you can discover something new every day and explore the city more. You will get the feeling that the exploring never ends. When hunger gets the better of you, you get endless offers from all over the world. But the best are the traditional tapas that can be found in every restaurant.

Author: Marlene Kapeller.

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