Barcelona: The Perfect Fit

Ian Johnson
January 23, 2015

IES Barcelona spring classes have now begun, but the last two weeks have felt like a dream — a two-week-long “vacation orientation”. I’ve experienced more in the past two weeks than I could possibly recall in a single blog post, so I’ve decided to organize this post into three sections: Homestay life, night life, and food.

I am living with two other IES students in a local homestay provided by a very nice couple, Carme y Pepe Callofre. They are in their mid-sixties and own a small kitchen appliances store in upper Eixample. They speak only Spanish, providing the perfect opportunity to continuously practice my speaking skills. They are always interested in parts of the city we have explored and where we plan to travel next. While many Catalan households traditionally begin dinner very late (sometimes sitting down at ten o’clock in the evening), we begin dinner at eight o’clock every night. It’s been great getting to know the Gallofres!

Of course, one of the most popular topics is the nightlife in Barcelona. Catalans begin evening festivities much later than many of us in the States. Consequently, they also end their festivities much later than we do! It’s not uncommon to return home at four or five o’clock in the morning after a night of tapas, bar hopping, and of course, “clubbing”. I have most enjoyed the local bar scene — good friends, friendly locals, and cheap drinks are all great ways to enjoy Barcelona.

The food culture in Barcelona is equally astounding. Cafes, panaderias, and chocolaterias line the streets, showcasing delicious pastries, dulces, and bocadillos behind sparkling window displays. Local markets offer fresh fruit and vegetables, which are equally popular in the Catalan diet. In my next post, I will cover specific dishes that are most popular in Spain. Until then, I hope you have enjoyed this small glimpse into my experience abroad thus far. Ciao!

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Ian Johnson

<div>I am a junior undergraduate at Indiana University&rsquo;s Kelley School of Business, majoring in Marketing &amp; International Business. I am also a member of the Kelley Consulting Workshop &mdash; a program geared toward building analysis, presentation, and teamwork capabilities for a competitive career in consulting. I am currently pursuing a career in Marketing Strategy and Brand Development. As a value-driven individual passionate about holistic health and well-being, I continue to search for new opportunities to contribute to the health and longevity of our people and planet.</div>

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