Barcelona, Spain - Sabina S.

Name: Sabina S.
Diploma program before the BBA: Marketing Management (Entrepreneurship)
Exchange Partner: Toulouse Business School (Barcelona Campus)
Duration: Two semesters, September - June

What was a typical school day was like?
My timetable changed each week according to different classes, but I typically had two or three classes a day. During the weekdays, I also gave private English tutoring to people, which has actually been very fun and has helped me make some spending cash. Most work was done in class, so we didn't worry about having too much homework like at BCIT.

What is the campus like?
It is located in downtown Barcelona in a building, which is very accessible by bus, metro, bike, etc. Everyone knows each other on campus as there are few sets, and it is a warm atmosphere.

What did you do to have fun?
Since it wasn't my first time in Barcelona, I used the weekends to travel outside of the city to explore new sites for day trips. I got to visit the beautiful Costa Brava in the North, and great beach towns in the south of Barcelona. The amazing thing about Barcelona is that it is always sunny, so although it may get a bit colder in the winter, it still gives you the opportunity to go out during the day and enjoy all the beautiful parks and sights of Catalunya. On top of that, I also took trips through Europe because everything here is so close, and flights from Barcelona are among the cheapest of all countries.

Why would you recommend exchange to others?
It is an amazing opportunity to truly experience the culture of the country, as well as cultures from all over the world, as you will be in a class with people from all over the world. In my class, we had students from France, Turkey, Sweden, Bosnia, China, England, Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Holland, and Spain. Apart from that, these people had lived in other countries such as Brazil, Korea, Portugal, and the United States. Therefore, I had the opportunity to learn all about different customs, as Toulouse is a very international school.

What is your favorite memory or story involving your exchange?
My favorite memory in Spain was during the Sitges Carnaval, which is a week in February where you dress up (in very elaborate costumes) and go to Sitges, south of Barcelona, to celebrate this festival. The streets are filled with thousands of people, but everyone was very polite and safe. Throughout the city, there is a parade that features various floats with amazing costumes. I had the honour of going three times and dressing up in three different costumes. It's like Halloween, but 10 times more extravagant!

What one tip would you give to students preparing for exchange?
I would recommend to try to immerse yourself in the culture, find locals to live with, try to learn the language, and visit typical Spanish places. This way, you can experience true Spanish living. At first, it may seem really different, but it's the perfect way to make the best of the exchange!