Small Town Campus to Big City Barcelona

I come from Iowa State University which is located in Ames, Iowa. The population of Ames is around 65,000 people and this number includes the 36,000 students that attend the university each year. Clearly, Barcelona is quite different, with an approximate population of 1.6 million people.

This photo is of La Rambla, a lively street that is near my school.

School in Iowa versus school in Barcelona is truly a night and day difference. In Ames, the campus is 3 square miles and I live just outside of that area. Here in Barcelona, I take classes at the CEA Study Center, which is three floors of a building in the heart of the city. The part that has been the biggest change is transportation to class. In Iowa I would walk to class and it would take a maximum of fifteen minutes to each building. Here in Barcelona, it takes me about 35 minutes to walk and take the metro to the CEA Study Center. This took some getting used to, but it is fun to experience many parts of this beautiful city.

My favorite place to study is this cute coffee shop that is close to my school.

I can never resist the temptation of the delicious looking croissants in every store window.

This is a photo of a little study snack I ordered at my favorite cafe.

One part about studying abroad that I never thought I would say is how much I enjoy my classes. The class sizes at CEA are no more than 20 people, which is completely different from my 300 person lectures at Iowa State.

I am taking Catalan, finance, and marketing courses here in Barcelona. All of my professors are current or previous working professionals in their corresponding course fields. This makes for great, real-world discussions during each class. One difference from my home university is the emphasis on class discussion and participation. Since classes are only held twice a week, they are longer and allow for more activities to be done during each class. We spend about have the time learning a concept and the other half is spent applying it; whether that be in small groups or looking at case studies.

This is a picture of an FC Barca game that I went to during my first week here in Barcelona.

Another great part about CEA classes are the scheduled field studies. For my two marketing classes, we get to visit companies around Barcelona to learn about their marketing tactics. The one I am most excited about is for my sport marketing class. We get to visit Camp Nou, the famous FC Barca soccer stadium, and do the interactive tour. I feel very blessed to have opportunities like this provided as a part of my classes!

Julia D. is the Spring 2018 MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a Junior studying Marketing & Finance at Iowa State University.

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