Orientation – It begins!

Orientation Day and the first week of classes

My second week, started with Orientation Day. I admit I was nervous going to orientation day, as there weren’t many mature age students. Amongst the 70 exchange students from all over the world, I noticed 3 others mature age students who were enrolled in architecture courses. I quickly brushed away thoughts of insecurity and I met some wonderful colleagues. We were soon sharing stories, classes, breaks, post class drinks and sightseeing together around the city. I am learning so much academically and culturally and enjoying every moment.

Meeting my new classmates

From Departure to Arrival

Departure Day

As the weeks and days got closer to the departure date, saying my goodbyes to family and friends got harder as reality kicked in that I will be gone for 1 year. I realised emotionally this is going to be a big move. Nervous? Yes. However, I am positive and excited at the same time. Having a good friend’s support at the airport helped calmed my nerves. I am blessed to have family, friends and CSU supporting me along the way.

Saying goodbye at the airport

Arrival!

As soon as I arrived at Barcelona I went straight to Vodafone inside the airport and purchased a temporary SIM card for my mobile. This gave me immediate access to a wide range of information including Google Maps. and I was immediately able to communicate with taxi drivers, agents and do shopping on my first day. Although I was excited and wanted to sightsee, I was simply knocked out from the long flight.

In the first week

There was so much to do and see in the first week of arriving in Barcelona. I thought, not being able to speak Spanish or Catalan would make it very difficult to move around; however, it was the total opposite. The locals are amicable and always willing to assist. Google translation was a big help, and if that doesn’t work, a big smile goes a long way, so I had no problems here. I was able to totally soak myself in the Barcelona’s culture and lifestyle.

I visited the famous Antoni Gaudi’s artistic architectural buildings Casa Batllo, and enjoyed delicious local food such as tapas at the local cafés. Getting lost and simply walking about was the best way for me to explore the city. I still cannot believe I am here in Europe! Even though it was cold and rainy most of the week the excitement of this old Catalan culture gets me up early every morning to see what’s out there. Every day presents a new adventure.

Tapas time!

Casa Battlo

‘Dragon’s Back’ Casa Battlo

Back streets of Barcelona – the things you find when you get lost!