As part of my master’s degree and the semester abroad that it included, I took a total of 4 subjects á 6 ECTS at the UAB. Two mornings on Monday and Wednesday at the St. Pau Campus (Spanish Beginner & Digital Photography) and two at noon on the Eixample Campus (Creative Economy & Incentives in Soccer). So I only had lectures two days a week. I could spend the rest of my time exploring Barcelona.
Spanish Beginner (6 ECTS)
The class had about 10-15 students. The level was fine. I had no prior knowledge. German students don’t have to worry about the many Americans and their language weaknesses. Combined with the daily challenges of a foreign language, it is enough to communicate well, to do shopping and to understand the most important things.
Digital Photography (6 ECTS)
Two out of three lecturers are from Germany, who take turns because they are all still employed. There were again about 10-15 students in the class. After a general introduction to digital photography , some projects had to be designed over the course of the semester in order to get to know the rules and basic principles of photography. The course was really fun . From a blurry background to TimeLapse videos, everything was on offer. You couldn’t actually deliver bad photos, since photography is subjective and the lecturers know that.
Creative Economy (6 ECTS)
Also a very interesting subject . Besides all the group work, you sometimes feel like you are in elementary school. Most of the students were like this from 17-21. The contents deal with the change from the working class to the creative class. At first it is about self-realization, what intelligences do I have, what makes me happy, what does creativity mean and that using the example of successful gurus like Steve Jobs or other creative greats of our time. The tests were a query of previously issued scripts.
Incentives in Soccer (6 ECTS)
A macroeconomic tuition that is heavily related to football. The lecturer is a staunch FC Barcelona fan , who made the lessons boring, but constantly loosened up with his dry sense of humor. The contents were from game theory, prisoner’s dilemma and general economic approaches such as decision on penalties, influence of the referees in a game, an entrepreneurial view of football clubs and presentations on any topic related to football.
Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and maybe even worldwide. It has everything you would expect from a metropolis . Hippie and artist districts, huge shopping streets, direct beach, well-developed bike paths, daily events, countless sights and and and. You won’t get bored. In Barcelona, as in any big city, you should take care of your things, as there are many who have nothing, but you can still live like God in France here . The weather was constantly at least 10 degrees warmer than in Germany, even in December it was still over 20 degrees and sunshine almost every day.
I arrived the day before the lectures started and booked a hostel near Plaza Catalunya. From there I started looking for a place to stay . I found my place to stay through AirBnb, an apartment in El Raval, a colorful and mixed neighborhood west of the Ramblas near the Rambla Raval. 500 EUR per month with everything that goes with it in a new apartment with a roof terrace. It can also be cheaper. Rooms from EUR 250-400 are offered via portals. No lease, everything is done with a handshake.
The metro system is great in Barcelona . Since I only had two days of lectures and often used the lunch break to walk to the other campus – past the Sagrada Familia – I got a couple of ten tickets. No matter how far you want to go, you only pay a good 1 EUR for each trip (10.30 EUR for a 10-person ticket), as you can change underground as often as you like. The lines are well developed so that you can get to every corner of Barcelona imaginable . Information on bars and other facilities is also often given in metro stops, so it is easier to find your way around.
St. Pau Campus
The St. Pau Campus is a beautiful old building, in which mostly the artistic and linguistic lectures take place and is approx. 10-15 minutes away from the city center.
This campus is hardly recognizable from the outside, as it is reminiscent of a residential building. Located between the Sagrada Familia and the city center, next to Passeig de Gracia, mainly business lectures take place here. Everything is air-conditioned and well-equipped, so you can study here in a relaxed manner.
Here are a few more tips outside of the tourist guides that you definitely have to see and / or experience in Barcelona:
- Bunker del Carmel (Metro Alfons X): An old ruin that serves as a viewpoint over the whole of Barcelona. Not advertised as tourists are not so welcome. Be there at sunset and wait until you can enjoy the 360 ° panorama over Barcelona. (http://vimeo.com/98867215)
- JazzSi Club (Metro St. Antoni): A decade-old jazz bar that presents different styles of music every day. Everything live. There is a jam session there on Sundays and Tuesdays. Famous and unknown musicians hang around there and jam together. (http://tallerdemusics.com/jazzsi-club)