Time has been absolutely flying by - I can't believe it's already been a week since I landed here in Barcelona! Although the transition has not been easy, everyday it seems to get a lot better.
Barcelona is home to 1.6 million people whereas Chicago is home to 2.7 million people. However, I am strucken with awe at how big Barcelona is. Maybe it's because I don't know my way around yet, but being surrounded by the sea on one side and mountains on the other, Barcelona feels like a huge place and I am constantly getting lost.
For housing, I have been placed in a homestay with the sweetest old couple with two of the most down-to-earth roommates I know, Hannah and Claire, who also happen to be sisters. They greeted me with the biggest smiles and such a big, warm welcome that I knew from then on, everything was going to be okay. I was intimidated at first by my host parents not knowing any Spanish but as time went on, I learned to appreciate it because this gave me a chance to really practice my Spanish and gain more exposure to it. My living situation is not exactly home but it's definitely something super close to it and I wouldn't change it for the world.
This past weekend was our discoverIES trip to Tarragona. Located south along the coast of the Mediterranean, it is home to the old ancient ruins of Rome and filled with people invented a unique tradition 200 years ago called castells. A castell is a human tower that consists of many people at the bottom forming the base and from there on, people go on top forming levels that measure up to two stories on a building. We attempted to build our own castell and I have to say, I don't think I would make a good castell person. We then toured around Tarragona and saw a monastery and other remaining ruins and I was flabbergasted at how people built such intricate architecture such a long time ago and they still remain intact.
IES is filled with people from all over the United States and I'm so fortunate to have met the great people on my program so far because I would be absolutely lost without them. I love waking up everyday in this exciting city waiting to be amazed by something new and different. That's all for now, see you next week!
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<p>I am a junior studying at the University of Illinois and am majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology, in hopes of attending dental school one day. During my free time, I enjoy painting, listening to music, and running. I love to travel and I'm especially looking forward to studying abroad this summer in Barcelona. I also love to take pictures because it captures a great experience that you can cherish for a lifetime.</p>