School started yesterday and I am excited for my classes. At least I was…
This semester I am completing my GER (General Education Requirements) so I enrolled in many interesting classes I would not be able to take at home.
On Monday/Wednesdays, I have four classes, Photography, Religion in Spain, Spanish and the Business of Sports in Europe. On Tuesday/Thursdays, I have two classes Travel Writing and Spanish.
So far I really like all my professors and I am passionate about the subjects of my classes (except Spanish but I am determined to improve!). However, I am not so sure I enjoying all the people in my classes.
A day in the life of a typical IES student….
9:00 am Class (Skip or come and sleep during)
10:30 am Class (Skip or sleep during)
12:00 Break (Still sleeping)
1:30 pm Class (Show up, complain about hangover and sickness)
3:00 pm Finished for the day
5:00 pm Drinks and Tapas
9:00 pm Dinner
12:00 am Go to Bar
2:00 am Go to Club
6:00 am Leave Club
9:00 am Go to class again
We are on our second full day of classes and our first week here and I am already so tired of hearing people complain about their hangover during class and which club they are hitting up tonight.
There is so much more to life than partying and I am so frustrated hearing my classmates talk about their plans, because all I can think while they are talking is “you are wasting this opportunity”.
Study-abroad is all about immersion. Immersing yourself in the culture of a new place and that means becoming part of that culture while you are here. Not simply being here and doing the same things you have always done, but trying things you can only try here.
Volunteering in a school or a business, meeting locals and making lifelong friends, learning the language and interacting with the customs of the Catalonian/Spanish cultures are all part of experiencing this fantastic city.
I am not saying you cannot go out for a drink occasionally but I am saying that by going out to the tourist clubs on the beach one is missing the point. Moreover, by doing so one is not actually living in Barcelona, but visiting here. Soon to become a distant memory to Barcelona, a mere feather in the wind that passed through the city leaving only your money behind and gaining nothing from the experience.
**Not everyone does the above, my roommates and I certainly do not, and I have met many wonderful people who are utilizing their time here wisely, but there is definitely a majority of students creating a party culture in this program.