Namn: Marius
Programme at DSV: Strategic IT Mangagement, Master
Semester abroad: HT13
University: Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya
Country: Spain

Travel Report –Barcelona

Frist of all I feel like sharing with you the reason that did drive me on my way of studying abroad: the cultural perspective; not even Stockholm has been randomly chosen for hosting my Master Programme. Considering myself a person that constantly needs to interact with different people belonging to different countries and indirectly, different cultures, I decided to improve my studying abroad experience seen as a whole, and add some valuable knowledge concerning the educational and cultural environment.

Why Barcelona?

I have been visiting Barcelona five years ago and I promised to myself I will be back for more than couple of days. Furthermore, the Latin atmosphere and spirit, which are very similar to my home country’s style, did their job as well and they influenced me to apply for this Erasmus experience even since the day I figured out I can study in Barcelona. Because I could not actually find a department addressing the same background courses I was taking within SU, I decided to take any courses that would have provided me the ticket to Spain; so, even if in Stockholm I was studying Computer Science,  in Barcelona I was taking  the following Faculty of Informatics’(FIB) courses, within Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) : Concurrence, Parallelism and Distributed Systems, Algorithmic Methods for Mathematical Models, Statistical Modeling and Design of Experiments, Techniques and Methodology of Innovation and Research in Informatics. Of course it was quite difficult to adapt to this new environment especially because my background was addressing a totally different field, but studying together with the Spanish students who are very friendly, serious, hard-working and competent persons, made my academic experience much easier. At least within FIB, the teachers and the students were reaching their goals in a very professional but in the same time “cozy and friendly” way. So from this perspective, I have nothing to complain about; actually I do present my esteem to UPC, FIB.
 
From a cultural perspective Barcelona has been, is and will remain incommensurate. Even if in the beginning you naturally have the feeling of a tourist who sees for the first time specific places, something from my experience, when I still was like:”Wow !! This is so cool !” , tells me that seeing the same specific places for more than one time will arouse you the same feelings you faced when you first time interact with the landscapes. This is how Barcelona was for me; churches/cathedrals, parks, traditional fetes where the Spanish people expose different habits and hobbies, are some of the cultural ingredients Barcelona uses in order to attract thousands of tourists a year. The nice weather from Barcelona can be emphasized by a true fact: at the end of October, I was going to the beach with other Erasmus students and not only, and enjoying the 24-25 Celsius degree temperatures.

Cost and rent

The normal rent a person can pay for an “all utilities included room apartment” is around 250-350 € per month. The living costs are at least two times cheaper than the ones from Stockholm. On the other hand, Barcelona is also famous for its amazing nightlife; a huge variety in bars, pubs and clubs are providing some of the best partying moments someone can have in a life.

Advice

Do not ever hesitate visiting this city; even if you will be studying or just travelling, do yourself a favor and try Barcelona’s beauty.