If you're planning to study abroad in Barcelona, here are some things I recommend that I believe are important and sometimes overlooked.
- When you go grocery shopping for the first couple of times, give yourself twice the amount of time! — I always found myself going to the grocery store 30 minutes before it closed and not having enough time to get everything I needed. Everything is in different packaging, isles, languages, etc. Believe it or not, they don't refrigerate eggs or milk here! Be open to the different flavors and try out new foods. Can't knock it 'til you try it!
- Use the app "Too Good To Go" — When you don't feel like making yourself food, but also don't want to spend a lot of money on eating out, this app is perfect for you! The app connects restaurants with customers and allows restaurants to sell their unsold food to app users at a very discounted price. I used this app all the time in Barcelona and loved it! I would get TONS of pastries for only 2.99 euros when it would probably cost around 20 euros if I bought them at full price. Help reduce food waste and try new foods at a very discounted price!! It's worth the try! Also, this app is only available in select big cities so take advantage of it while you can because it's not in my hometown city :(
- This one may not be as forgotten but is still very important: Book & plan trips in advance!!! — If you want a good price on any travel, you have to book it in advance. I made the mistake of waiting until the last minute and either booked a trip for more money than I wanted to or wasn't able to go because of how expensive it was. Once you get there and figure out your schedule, start looking into trips!! I wish people stressed this more to me. They say European travel is cheap but it's only cheap if you do book it in advance. Hostels and plane tickets sell out faster than you'd think. As a procrastinator, don't procrastinate this!! Also, I'd recommend getting travel insurance/the cancellation policy. It may be worth it because you never know what can happen abroad.
- In your free/down time, watch the TV shows and movies that you can't get in the US. — TV shows and movies have different licenses making some shows, such as The Office on Netflix, only available in Europe. I recommend watching these while you're there. It'll give you a little slice of home and may make your friends and family a little jealous. Just make sure you don't get hooked on a show that you can't finish in the U.S.!
- Do what YOU want to do. — Not what your friends want to do all the time. It's okay to say no to some things or do things alone because this is all about YOUR experience, not theirs! You don't want to look back and say, "Oh, I wish I did that but no one else wanted to so I never ended up doing it." This may be the only time in your entire life that you're in Barcelona so don't hold back. Try new things but don't waste time pleasing other people by doing stuff that only they want to do.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hi! My name is Megan Curran and I'm a junior at the University of Missouri - Columbia. I'm majoring in Economics and am hoping to minor in Business and Spanish. As someone who has always wanted to get out and travel the world, I am excited to finally get the opportunity to go abroad to Barcelona this summer. I enjoy capturing the little moments and putting them together to encompass the full experience and sharing it with others. Some things I enjoy doing in my free time are going on walks, meeting new people, and most importantly, trying new foods.</p>