If you want to explore the city you're studying abroad in while getting work done, student blogger Isha recommends studying in local bookstores, coffee shops, and coworking spaces. Read more to find out her favorite spots to get work done in Barcelona!
Studying abroad is a lot of fun and your days are usually packed with activity and events that makes academics less strenuous on a daily basis. UNTIL you realize that the semester has reached its midterm mark, and it’s time to write some papers and turn in some assignments. Often times, studying in apartments and homestays may not feel viable because you’re constantly beating yourself up about being in a new city and not exploring it by sitting in and turning in assignments or because you just feel lazy if you don’t get out of bed.
This is when community study areas can be helpful because not only do they help you focus and concentrate on finishing your work, but they also help in a change of environment to interact with people who are sailing in the same boat as you are.
In addition, Barcelona is one of the most famous cities in Spain for academic institutions, a lot of which focus on the field of humanities and social sciences. This means common study spots have a lot of potential for exchanging ideas and cultures while studying in public spaces.
Check out these four spots in Barcelona apt for studying, meeting more people from the student community, and of course for getting done with your assignments on time.
1. CCCB Archive
This one has been a personal favorite. I visited here during my second week of starting my internship and the modern aesthetic of the library along with comfy sofas, chairs and plenty of reference books on culture in English, Spanish and Catalan helped motivate me to turn in many of my assignment on time. Full disclosure - I made one of my first friends while studying here.
Photos from the CCCB Archive.
2. La Central at the MUHBA
La Central is a chain of bookstores found in Madrid and Barcelona. This one, in particular, is a really special one. It is located inside the Museum of History of Barcelona where the ruins of the old roman city are well preserved. This bookstore tries to keep its theme focused on the contents of the museum and highlights the urban life of Barcelona. Books are mostly related to cultural studies, history, geography, sociology, anthropology, and architecture. They have a small cafe which is an extremely peaceful study spot to spend your day trying to get some work done.
La Central at the MUHBA
3. Laie Pau Claris Coffee Bookshop
This combination of a bookshop and cafeteria is ideal to spend a day to get your work done. The special part about this bookshop is its outdoor terrace where you can spend the day studying in natural light. In addition to the outdoor terrace, the bookshop has a wide selection of books on literature, philosophy, music and more.
Laie Pau Claris Coffee Bookshop
4. Cafe Imagin
Cafe Imagin is a coworking space located right in the center of the city and is a five-minute walk from the CAPA center located at Rambla Catalunya. Cafe Imagine is a creative space for young minds to sit and mull over their ideas as well as to work on projects and study. In addition, since Barcelona is a melting pot for entrepreneurs starting their own startups, this place has been used by a lot of young minds to build on their creative business models.
I’ve been there a couple of times now, including reserving a conference room for an internship assignment and the vibe of the place has been really welcoming. Looking at young minds work and study, it’s an ideal spot to interact with more students and people from the younger generation making their way in the city.
Isha Mahajan is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Political Science and Journalism major at University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.
Isha's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.