Marietta Cummings, Accounting, 2016
Two months in Barcelona have gone by so, so fast! It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of the program I started out feeling so timid and apprehensive, but now I’m so confident and secure in the city! I wouldn’t necessarily say I reached “local” status during my time here, but I definitely am no longer a tourist. I feel like I’m floating in limbo somewhere in between the two. Anyway, I made this short video about my typical day out and around the city, which may or may not trick people into thinking I’m a local.
Here I am on my 7th week in Barcelona, and everything seems very natural. Living in Barcelona took some getting use to, but it was no difficult task. There are a few factors that make an individual become a local in Barcelona very quickly.
Understanding the metro system is a key component in justifying one as a local. Initially, I had a little trouble becoming fully acquainted with the metro system. Thus letting the whole city know I am not a local. About a few weeks into living in Barcelona I had become just about fluent with the metro system. This made my time here much more fluid and natural, ultimately morphing me into a local.
As time went on, I began to get more of a feel for all of the hot spots to eat, hang out, and grab a few drinks. In the beginning I did not have much direction on this aspect. Now, I have plethora of choices!
Twin brother Mark (left), friend Jeff (middle), Me (right); at Maka Maka
Barcelona has become my second home over these past seven weeks. During my first week in Barcelona I couldn’t go anywhere in the city without having to look at a map on my phone or stop in coffee shops and ask for directions. I would constantly get lost and never felt like I knew where I was. As the weeks passed I became more comfortable and confident with my surroundings. I grew more familiar with the city and it no longer intimidated me. I now have favorite restaurants and coffee shops where the workers know me by sight. I also know which areas to avoid and which areas are perfect for a late lunch with friends. Even though I think I know the city pretty well, it constantly keeps surprising me with new things, whether that be a street fair in the neighborhood of El Born or a protest on Plaza Catalunya. As my experience abroad comes to an end, I realize that I am going to miss this city but know that I will be back someday!
Working at PassKit has been such a great experience for me. For some, waking up to go to work feels like a chore. I’m happy to say I look forward to going to work every single day and happy I get to contribute to the business as a whole. As a pre-business major, getting real world office experience working as team and achieving goals has been really rewarding in preparation for the school year to come.
I work in a really open office where everyone is in sight of each other at all times. This leaves a constant line open for communication as my boss likes us to use each other as resources when needed. At the beginning of every week, everyone comes together in a meeting go over what was completed the previous week, then to clarify the objectives for the upcoming week. Throughout the week, plans may change but everyone keeps each other up-to-date so the whole office is on the same page. This makes for a really efficient work flow as you always know who is working on similar tasks so you might be able to help one another. Everyone is really positive, ready to help, and super motivated to keep the company growing. I’m lucky to be a part of PassKit and ecstatic that I’m a real asset to the business.
After living in Barcelona for two months, I would definitely say I have grown so much more comfortable as the time has gone by. Not only do I know my way around now, but I have completed every activity I had planned before this trip. I feel that Barcelona is a home away from home and I am not excited to leave this amazing place.
This has been without a doubt the greatest summer of my life. It is truly amazing looking back to how we came into the program completely unaware of the culture and are leaving as Barcelona locals. I have learned so much over the course of this trip and will never forget the great experiences and people that I have met.
Being able to work in a foreign country made me realize the scope of how large the world actually is. It was a remarkable opportunity where I could see the world in a different lens. Going home will be bittersweet but I will forever cherish my adventures in Barcelona.
Amy Waterhouse, Marketing 2015
Parc Guell at Sunset
I can truly say I consider Barcelona home after living here for about 7 weeks. It will be bittersweet to head back to America because I feel like I have really adjusted to the culture and lifestyle in my time here. I have gotten used to taking the metro to work and around the city everyday. I can finally navigate my way around without getting lost and have discovered so many great places to eat and things to do while just wandering around the city. I have been very adventurous in trying the Spanish food and exploring areas that are not just tourist destinations. I have fallen in love with the environment of a big city because there is always so much going on and so many things to see. My experience in Barcelona has been unforgettable and I know I will cherish the memories I have made here for the rest of my life!
It´s crazy to think this is my last week in Barcelona…the time flew by! At this point I consider this place a second home and somewhere I have really come to love. I would definitely say I have assimilated well into the culture and know my way around the city. Some of my favorite days here have consisted of me wandering around and finding new spots to eat, explore and enjoy. It´s very bittersweet to imagine heading home to America, but I feel extremely fortunate to have had this experience. I know I will keep the memories of Barcelona close to my heart forever.
Mark Yackey, Finance, 2015
I can not believe that my time in Barcelona is coming to an end. After seven weeks of living here I feel as if I have become a local. In the early stages of being in Barcelona I found it difficult to communicate with the locals and avoid sticking out like a sore thumb. The culture in the city took some time to get used to, but at this point I feel like I fit right in. Getting around the city by metro and bus is second nature at this point and getting to my internship is just like any other daily commute. I have to stop myself and look around to observe the wonders this city has to offer when going to work.
One of the main perks of becoming a local is finding all of my favorite restaurants, places to see, and places to converse with friends. I wish I had a bit more time so I could find all of the “hole in the wall” restaurants that would amaze any critic. I have tried to do as much as possible and make the most out of everyday these past couple of weeks because my time is sadly running out.
I never thought I would say that I would feel at home in Barcelona and adapt to the culture, but I have. I rush with the local commuters when getting to work and enjoy my meals by taking my time and enjoying the company. I am going to miss living in this wonderful city and the great people I have met along the way.
Arriving here in Barcelona, everything was so new and different. Majority of the time I spent in Barcelona the first two to three weeks I had no idea where I was, what I was doing, and where all the good places were to eat. Everything was such a change even the public transportation. The amount of times in the beginning of the trip I got on the wrong train cannot be counted! The feeling of everything being new and different was a great and scary feeling.
Now after being here for 8 weeks I know this city like the back of my hand. I have discovered and searched everything this city has to offer. I now know all the best places to site see, drink, and eat. It is a great feeling knowing where I am going and what I am doing. The public transportation definitely got some time getting used to but I have no issue anymore using the metro to go anywhere. I also have improved my spanish speaking skills while being here which has made me confident in everything I do in Barcelona.
Lorenia Rembao, Pre-Business ’16
Arriving to Barcelona two months ago involved a lot of confusion. I was unaware of how the metro works, how to understand the Catalan language, and had a difficult time adjusting to their eating habits. At this point, I can get around the city fairly well. The metro I think may have been one of the hardest things to get down in Barcelona, especially because we live in Bellatera (very far from the city). The Catalan language took a lot to get used to as well. I can’t completely speak it but I am now capable of understanding people, even when they speak fast! I’ve been accustomed to slang words here, for example ‘vale’ or ‘guapa’. Another factor I overcame was their eating habits. Having to eat meals at odd times was quite difficult at first. There would be times when I could not wait to eat but some restaurants would be closed for ‘siestas’.
A view of the city
It feels great to walk around Barcelona and not get lost. There are times when I truly feel like I am at home. Barcelona has been an amazing place to live for two months. I wish I could be a local here. It seems like every local here loves and enjoys living in Barcelona. It’s crazy to think my time in Barcelona is almost over. It was an amazing time adapting to the culture and enjoying my time here. I know if I ever come back I will feel like I’m home again.
Chaoying Yan, MIS
Time runs so fast, I realized that I just have 3 weeks internship left in Hong Kong. As the time goes on, I become more and more familiar with my boss and my co-workers. In addition, I have a deeper impression about Hong Kong’s work environment.
Not like the staff in America Companies, the staff in Hong Kong companies have a really busy work style. First example is that the worker here only have one hour meal break during the lunch time and almost half hour are wasted in waiting on line. In my companies, most of people bring their lunch boxes to save the time and money. I want to talk about transportation in the second example. The housing price in Hong Kong is extremely high, so most of people choose to buy a house or rent a apartment which far away from the central, the place which most of companies located. In this case, the worker need to spend at least one hour to arrive the office. These people always work till very late everyday, so most of them are choose to take a nap when they take the MTR or bus. In addition, people here walk so fast like jogging to save time.
All in all, I feels like I already integrated into Hong Kong and getting familiar with the work environment here. I like this experience.