Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad in Barcelona
Are you thinking of mixing things up a bit for your college experience? Do you want to live more adventurously and study abroad in Barcelona? If so, here are some crucial factors to help you make your decision.
While there may be no place like home… There definitely is no place like Barcelona.
“Yea, Barcelona is alright, I guess”, said no one ever.
Tourism is a booming presence / business in the city due to its art, fun, architecture, fun, food, fun, and culture… oh, and fun. There is so much energy here, it is hard to contain and summarize fully in textual form.
One must come here in person to get a real feel for the city and what it has to offer first hand.
Barcelona is also a popular destination for those looking to study abroad and bolster education. I am sure the fact that the legal drinking age in Europe is 18 has nothing to do with it. Right???
Cough, cough, anyway, without further adieu, here we go!
The Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad in Barcelona
#1- The Legal Drinking Age
We’ll just get this one out of the way without sounding like a broken record…
You can drink legally in Barcelona when you’re 18 years old.
No more red tags, MIPs, or shenanigans when it comes to consuming your alcoholic beverages. Many students study abroad just in time to turn 21, for example. This tends to ease that transition for those waiting to hit the bars back home with their chums and lady-chums or chumettes, if you will.
Generally juniors and seniors alike make it across the pond as a means to shake down and spice up their college life experience. While there are a lot of options around the world, primarily in Europe, Barcelona takes the cake as a home base for college students around the United States.
The trend of craft beer in Barcelona is also growing currently, so you can sample many styles and flavors. This pairs well with the wine culture that is already in place here. You can become an expert with different styles before turning the big 2 to the 1, so you can hit the bars back in the United States gracefully.
Let’s be honest though, nothing quite replaces a 30-Rack of Keystone Light for some rounds of beer pong.
Important note: CocoVail Beer Hall promotes responsible consumption of alcohol. Safety is paramount, always.
Plus, you don’t want to be on the next season of Locked Up Abroad.
#2- Barcelona Is the World’s Best City
Okay, let’s not get carried away…
It’s quite possibly the best city in the world. Yes, we said it, and we mean it.
You can compare it to being back home or that picturesque village you hold near and dear to your heart. You can also draw comparisons to other metropolitan cities; however, there is nowhere like Barcelona in the world, period. For starters, the city is set on the Mediterranean, which means beaches. 🙂
The city is also nestled in some hills, so there are outdoor activities and views that will literally take your breath away. Public service announcement: remember to breathe. Go to Tibidabo, for example, a theme park that’s a stone’s throw away with a vantage point of the city that is a must. There is so much to do in Barcelona, we guarantee your few months here will be some of the best in your life.
It’s very historical. They’ve excavated resources that prove people settled this area as early as 5000 BC, for example!
We bring up these factors without even mentioning the culture here. It is rich and diverse, but those words alone can’t do it justice.
#3- Gaudí & Company
You don’t have to know a lot about Barcelona, but surely you have heard of Gaudí before. He is famous for the many architectural features of the city. La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and La Pedrera are just a few of his creations.
In fact, CocoVail is situated right next to Casa Batlló, which is one of his best creations. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some craft beer in Barcelona, then mosey over to witness his historical building in person?
#4- The Beach
Well, it’s a beach…
What else is there to say?
Okay, we lied, because actually, there are many beaches from Barceloneta on up north to Poble Nou.
Barceloneta is definitely the most accessible and therefore gets a bit crowded, especially during the summer. However, there are many, many options moving up and down the coastline.
You can go to the quaint, beautiful beach in Sitges, which is close using the regional train, Renfe. Or you can go north to Costa Brava, which is amazing, we mean absolutely stunning.
#5- Lionel Messi
Well, if you haven’t heard of him before, we’re just going to let this video do the talking. Messi is basically an extraterrestrial on the field. He has an incredible story to accompany his ascent to soccer history to boot.
We’ve had the honor of watching him play in person before, and it is a spectacle you will want to witness, sans doubt. He is the epicenter of F.C. Barcelona, which is “more than a club” and truly a central element to Barcelona, Catalunya and its culture.
The Mediterranean diet may be one of the healthiest in the world. Where else can you find lifelong cigarette smokers living into their 90s?
We are kidding about the cigarettes, of course, but there are so many options to satiate your desires.
If you want traditional Spanish cuisine, you have it in spades here. If you want Asian, South American, Middle Eastern, or Indian food, it is at your disposal. Of course, if you want a bit of home cooking and traditional American grub, CocoVail has it. We offer chicken wings with many traditional sauces and marinades, including (but not limited to) buffalo, honey BBQ, teriyaki, ranch, and blue cheese.
Furthermore, CocoVail is one of the only places with traditional Buffalo Chicken Wings in Barcelona.
#7- Location, Location, Location
You can get to dozens of destinations from Barcelona for a very affordable price…
Many students opt for spending a few weekends during their study abroad experience in different places.
A few cities/ countries that are readily accessible from here are: Paris, Lisbon, Ibiza, London, Germany, Madrid, Seville, Granada, Italy, Andorra, United Kingdom, Amsterdam, Vienna, San Sebastian, Switzerland, and Morocco. Granted, this is not a comprehensive list, but it offers a few of the places one can visit while studying abroad in Barcelona.
Travel tip: once you decide to study abroad in Barcelona, make sure you book your flights and travel arrangements early. It’s a good way to save on travel, so you can spend more during your experience wherever you may go.
Sure, the exchange rate with the Euro is not very favorable currently. There are many factors for that, most of which we don’t fully understand, who really understands it all anyway?
No matter what the comparison, you can have fun here and not break the bank, that is for certain.
Of course, you can break the bank and have fun as well, who are we to say otherwise?
#9- Ain’t No Party Like a Barcelona Party, because a Barcelona Party Don’t Stop…
Barcelona never sleeps, except maybe for a siesta during the middle of the day…
We mean it… People eat breakfast here anytime from 9- 11 AM, eat lunch around 2/3 PM, and finally get dinner in their bellies around 9/10 PM. That means that parties literally don’t start until around 1-2 AM, and therefore don’t end until the sun comes up or even well into the next day.
Staying up till the sun rises always makes for a good time, especially as a college kid experiencing something totally unique for a limited time. Just try not to pull an all nighter before an exam… Or do it. YOLO, right?
There is an energy in Barcelona that is uncanny. You can’t find it in any other location. We believe it derives from the universal acceptance of many people from all around the world. Sure, it is a Catalan/ Spanish city, but it really is a hub that represents the whole world and all of its cultures.
If you walk down Les Rambles, for example, you will hear people speaking languages from countries peppered around the continents. You can literally see the full spectrum of human faces, races, and backgrounds.
It is important to address the recent attack on August 17th, 2017 in Barcelona. It is tragic and will take time to mend the wounds, both literal and figurative.
We also have to note the recent political unrest with the Independence Movement that surged over the past few months. It’s not a dangerous situation, fret not. There are a lot of emotions and passion behind what is going on here, and it’s not our place to draw a line in the sand or dictate how to feel about it.
Even with this relative confusion, there is love in this city and there is a conscious commonality that will always bind us. Just as the numerous other cities around the world have evolved, Barcelona will as well. The energy and love in Barcelona will blossom as it always has.
Hopefully fear of these sort of events will not deter people from traveling and enjoying one of the treasures of human society, of which there are many. We should strive for unity and acceptance in the face of such uncertainty and violence.
Whether you are a party animal, one who craves cultural nuances, or simply looking to travel, Barcelona has it all. When you study abroad in Barcelona, you will return home enriched, with an amplified appreciation for life.
It will be the experience of a lifetime, we guarantee it.