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Erasmus experience in Barcelona, Spain

Why did you choose to go to Barcelona, Spain?

When I signed up for Erasmus I didn't have many choices, as my university lacked protocols. I remember that aside from Barcelona I could choose Rome, Bremen and some other cities which names I can't remember, but they were in Finland, Greece and Turkey. I started talking to people that had already been on Erasmus and all of them told me that Barcelona was European capital of Erasmus, that it was the best place to go, so I put it in as my first choice. Luckily enough I got put in the University I wanted.

How long lasts the scholarship? How much money do you get to help you with living costs?

I was in Barcelona for the whole school year, about 10 months, and the scholarship I got was of 3200 euros. During the whole year I spent about 10000 euros, so the scholarship covered about 1/3 of the expenses.

What is the student lifestyle like in Barcelona?

When I went to Barcelona I went with the idea that I wouldn't have to study at all to pass the subjects with flying colors, as other friends of mine that had been on Erasmus had boasted. But in Barcelona is different, as the teachers don't make it easy at all and the teaching method is a lot harder than in Portugal; there's a continuous evaluation, you cannot miss a single class and there's a single exam phase. The environment is relatively good, however I fell that there's a lot of competitiveness between the students, a mentality that's completely different from ours.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Barcelona to other students?

Of course! For those that like having fun Barcelona is one of the best places in Europe to be! For those that like studying it's also good, but I'm not the most appropriate person to talk about that.

What is the food like?

I didn't find it very different from the usual Spanish food that we all know (paellas, tortillas, etc... )

How did you find your accommodation?

The University of Barcelona sent me an e-mail with half a dozen sites of agencies recommended for international students, and through one of those agencies I found my accommodation. I'll write the best websites for those who need them down below:

What are the accommodation prices like? What are prices like for other things in general?

In terms of accommodation, the prices are pretty high. A T2, for example, in the center of Barcelona it's always about 900, 1000, 1100 euros, no matter how bad it is. Overall, things like the supermarket and going out at night are about the same prices as Lisbon; the normal price for a beer in a bar is about 3€, and in transportation a subway ticket is about 1, 4€. I used to buy 7€ tickets for 10 trips, but for those that use the subway a lot you should get the metro pass, about 130€ but I'm not sure. Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

I didn't go to any language courses before I went. In the beginning it was a bit complicated since some teachers only taught in Catalan, so I spent a couple of classes without understanding anything, but little by little I began to grasp the idiom and by the end I understood almost everything. However I never needed to speak Catalan; every time I had a doubt I would just ask it in regular Spanish and it always worked out. Everyone in the streets talks regular Spanish, and some English as well.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Barcelona from your city?

Airplane, no doubt.

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Barcelona?

In Barcelona any day of the week is good to go out. I recommend the Sala Apolo on Mondays (Tuesdays are fine too), on Wednesdays almost every week there are ESN parties on Razzmatazz (a party in which 90% of people are Erasmus), on Thursdays the Sutton Club is the best choice, on Fridays go to Opium Mar by the beach, and on Saturdays is Razzmatazz night too. However, for me the best parties are the ones in people's apartments, you shouldn't miss any!

And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Barcelona?

I didn't eat out often, but for those that like to eat after a night out the best place is the Reloj in the Via Laitana, which closes only from 3h to 5h. There's also a pretty good and cheap place in the Gothic Quarter called "Pim Pam Burguer", where you can eat the biggest burger ever for just 5€. In the end of Via Laitana, by the post office building, there is the best place for eating "bocadillos", a small diner with 2 or 3 tables called "B de Bô", cheap and great!

What good cultural sites are there to visit?

I'm not a good example for this topic, still I did visit most places. Go to Parq Guel, Sagrada Família, Barcelona Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter and the "Barrio del Born", and Montjuic is worth a visit as well. My advice to you is not to worry about visiting everything, because even if you don't want to you'll eventually end up visiting almost everything. Ha! And if you're a football fan then you gotta go visit Camp Nou, definitely worth paying for the expensive tickets to get in there!

Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Barcelona in the future?

My advice is to never miss the Erasmus meetups, to make friends quickly so you can start going out and have fun, because before you realize it you're already back home...

Share your Erasmus Experience in Barcelona!

If you know Barcelona as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Barcelona! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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