Radio Interview

Written by El Casal de Barcelona on . Posted in Blog


Not everything about a gap year is programmed---thank goodness! Part of the excitement of living abroad is “seizing the day”, taking advantage of the unique or unexpected opportunities that arise for developing cross-cultural understanding.

Last fall, El Casal participants Pauline and Alex went on a national radio program to talk about their impressions of Spanish people their age, the similarities and differences in the Spanish and US educational systems and other topics. This lively and unscripted interview was arranged by Pauline’s host mother, Begoña, a widely respected broadcast journalist, whom we thank for permission to post it here .Listen…and marvel at Pauline and Alex’ Spanish skills!

Eating "calçots" in Tarragona

Written by El Casal de Barcelona on . Posted in Blog


Zoe tries a calçot. Good thing she’s got a bib!

February and March can be cold and drizzly in Barcelona, but it’s also calçot season and the thought of wolfing down a dozen or so of these tender onion shoots, grilled outdoors over an open fire, is enough to brighten even the grayest of Catalonian days

The calçots are harvested only at this time of year, making them a seasonal treat that few of Barcelona’s millions of annual visitors can enjoy. The calçots are the first course in the traditional calçotada; the onions--which are eaten with the fingers and dipped in romescu sauce—are followed by grilled lamb chops, botifarra sausages and other traditional dishes. Everything is washed down with red wine and topped off by crema catalana, the local version of crème brûlée. The really fun part, though, is eating the calçots. Not for the fastidious, eating them is a messy affair (bibs highly recommended) and one’s fingers become completely blackened after stripping off the charred outer layers of the shoots in order to get to the tender and sweet insides. Drink enough wine and you won’t care.

In the cloister of the cathedral

Written by El Casal de Barcelona on . Posted in Blog

In the cloister of the cathedral

En el claustro de la catedral, uno de mis rincones favoritos, me gusta compartir con mis estudiantes lo misterioso y bello de este pequeño espacio lleno de símbolos, como por ejemplo las trece ocas que corretean por allí y que representan los trece años que tenía Santa Eulàlia, primera patrona de la ciudad, al morir.

Pasarán los años y espero que los de El Casal siempre conserven la foto del grupo que hacemos en una de las primeras visitas de los viernes, explorando Barcelona.Hace 8 años que hice esta foto, los mismos años que tiene nuestra corta pero intensa historia de El Casal, nuestro gap year en Barcelona.

Ready to do something different and exciting after high school?