Conversations on Studying Abroad

Week 2: Adapting to Life in Barcelona

Mar 2, 2021 9:47:00 AM / by Andrew McKenzie

Our Barcelona student blogger Andy checks in with us on how his week abroad is coming along. After spending time getting used to the lay of the land in Barcelona, he tells us more about navigating the transit system and exploring cultural and tourist sites there. Andy also gives us a quick update on his internship with Barcelona Metropolitan Magazine.

Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to be writing to you from my new home for the next 85 days: Barcelona, Spain. So far, the weather in Barcelona has been beautiful. It’s been roughly 60 degrees and sunny for the past week and is a nice alternative to the -15 degrees it currently is at home in Minnesota. I’m tempted to wear shorts, but this serves as a poor optic when the local Barcelonans are dressed in long coats and scarves.

The first week here has been a learning experience. The COVID-19 restrictions in Barcelona are tighter than they are in the United States. There is currently a 10:00pm curfew that is heavily enforced. Restaurants are open from 7:00am to 10:30am and then again from 1:00pm to 4:30pm. While the restrictions are a definite obstacle, it hasn’t stopped me and my roommates from exploring our new city. We visited La Sagrada Familia yesterday and were blown away by the size and detail of Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece in the sky.

Visiting the Sagrada Familia.Visiting the Sagrada Familia.

After visiting La Sagrada Familia, I took the metro and tram to meet my coworker, Andrea, in her neighborhood. This was another learning experience as I got totally and utterly lost. I found the trip to be a thrilling and informative way to dissect how the public transportation system works. After finally making my way to her neighborhood, I had a fun afternoon getting to know Andrea and my other coworkers, Neinke and Saraï, from Holland.

Exploring Barcelona with friends.Exploring Barcelona with friends.

I’m especially grateful for Andrea, Neinke, and Saraï because they are an entirely different network of friends that I can safely hang out with outside of CAPA, and I wouldn’t have met them had it not been for my internship. I know I mentioned it in my first blog post, but I am a marketing and sales intern with the Barcelona Metropolitan Magazine, the number one English-speaking magazine in Barcelona. Neinke, Saraï, and I are all marketing interns. Currently, our tasks revolve around developing digital media marketing and content posting for the Metropolitan Magazine’s various social media sites. This is the beginning of a variety of day-to-day tasks we will be doing including various sales and marketing campaigns. It’s only been a week, but one thing I’m getting out of my new position is an increased sense of responsibility, better time management, and invaluable experience that comes with interning abroad. I’m looking forward to my second week of work and getting an even better feel for the company and my role.

In reflection, the first week was taxing and overwhelming. I have never been to a city this big before and it’s been a challenging adjustment to say the least. I’m ready to explore more of this city and country all while establishing better footing in my classes and internship. Talk soon and wish me luck!

Hasta luego.

Thanks, Andy!

Andy McKenzie

Andy McKenzie is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2021, sharing his story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Marketing major from University of Minnesota, he is studying abroad and interning in Barcelona this semester.

Andy's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

New call-to-action

Topics: Barcelona, Spain, Local Culture