Alyson's afternoon

Written by El Casal de Barcelona on . Posted in Blog



Alyson (Spring '16) tells about getting around Barcelona and about her community service project with her classmate, Charlotte:

I race down the two floors of my apartment building and step out onto the primarily pedestrian street. A crisp wind blows through my hair as I begin walking at a brisk pace to the Poblenou metro stop. The low sun bounces off my phone’s screen and I quickly unlock it to read a message from Charlotte- “getting on the first car at Jimmy 1 rn.” I smile at her choice of word ; Jimmy 1 is just our affectionate name for Jaume Primer, a metro stop used by us with such frequency that it deserved its own nickname. My boots click down the stairs towards the underground labyrinth of lines that is this bustling city’s primary mode of transportation. I swipe my metrocard, and the small glass doors pop open with just enough time for me to slip through. Yet another flight of stairs, a double check that I’m on the yellow line heading in the right direction, a 27 second wait (I knew this due to the convenient countdown the Barcelona metro utilized), and I’m jumping on the first car. I immediately spot Charlotte and sit down next to her as we relish in our successful planning that finally allowed us to organize the timing of this metro rendezvou. After many failed attempts, we finally  accomplished the impossible- sitting together on a metro.

Our Families

Written by El Casal de Barcelona on . Posted in Blog

All of the El Casal participants live with host families in Barcelona.  Does that idea seem sketchy to you?  Do you think it'd be awkward living with strangers who speak a language different from your own?  Don't worry! You'll realize very quickly that our host families are warm and welcoming and that they understand the challenges you are facing as you adapt to a new culture.  They're an excellent resource for involvement in the local community. They'll keep you up to speed on what's going on in the country and in your particular neighborhood.  And as far as improving your Spanish is concerned,  all of our students agree that living with a host family was key to becoming confident and fluent.

Here's what Pauline from San Francisco had to say had to say about her family:

"They always treated me well and often went beyond the call of duty, like taking me to their vacation home on the Costa Brava and taking care of me when I was sick.  Also, I think talking with them was th single biggest factor in improving my Spanish."

And Hank from Boston had this to say:

"I love Pablo, Sofia, Carlota, and Lucia.  I had such an amaziing time with them. I'm so fortunate to have a family that feels like my own family. We interacted a lot, but they also gave me my space..."     

Does it Snow in Spain in April?

Written by El Casal de Barcelona on . Posted in Blog

Snow in many parts of Spain is common...in the winter.  What's unusual is ankle-deep snow on the Camino de Santiago in the second week in April, but that's what our Spring '16 group experienced during one full day on the trail.  Click on the title to see how beautiful northwestern Spain is under a blanket of spring snow.   

Ready to do something different and exciting after high school?