Barcelona is Spain’s capital city for neuroscience, which was my field of interest. Three of its biggest universities – among others the Universitat de Barcelona, my host university – provide courses on this matter. Although I went on exchange to Barcelona for my bachelors, I was free to choose master courses, which match better with my background in Psychobiology than the bachelor courses offered at the university – both with regards to the content and regarding the level of education. It should be noted, though, that many courses are offered only in Catalan or Spanish, but as the university offers a Spanish language course, of which the ECTS may be included in your curriculum, it is challenging but certainly not impossible. However, the main language of Barcelona is Catalan, and to connect with the people there it would really help to try to pick up a bit of Catalan. It looks like a mixture between Spanish and French. When I arrived at the airport I thought by myself: “Why is everything written in French, but misspelled?” Despite that, it sounds a bit like Scottish (at least to me).
Many of my friends have visited me while studying in Barcelona, and they all agreed that the city was surprisingly different (in a good way!) from what they had expected. The same actually applies to me. Barcelona has so much more to offer than the Gothic quarter and the extended nightlife. All barrios are very different from each other and in each barrio you will notice a different atmosphere. With many cafes, Sant Antoni is my favourite neighbourhood (check out Carrer del Parlament). It is customary to start a Sunday with brunch and a vermut, a very popular and also my favourite drink. The cafes are perfect for studying, which I did extensively there. During my study breaks, I tried to catch some sun while walking to the next café, simultaneously getting to know the neighbourhood and the city better.
Merel de Klerk, exchange student from the University of Amsterdam (2017-2018)
My Erasmus experience has been a bit different: I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the first FC Barcelona’s women’s hockey team! Thanks to the sport I’ve been travelling around Spain and I have meet very nice people in the team
Maria Victoria Bussoletti, Biotech Exchange student from Università di Roma La Sapienza (2017-2018)