UF in Barcelona is one of the department’s newest study abroad programs. Designed for beginners looking to fulfill their language requirement, the seven-week program offers an intensive language class as well as a content course in architecture or history, taught in English. Students immerse themselves in Spanish history and culture while studying the language. Many of them use this study abroad in their immediate future, not only as part of their continuing acquisition of the Spanish language but also as background experience related to their major fields of study, since they learn about their interests firsthand. The Summer 2017 program was directed by SPS graduate student Sonia San Juan, who wrote the following reflection:
Many students lived with local host families; others rented their own apartment, or stayed in dormitories at the University of Barcelona. Thus all students found themselves completely immersed in the day-to-day linguistic and cultural life of Barcelona. They also participated in various organized excursions, including a tour of Gaudi’s renowned Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, a visit to La Boquería market in the boulevard Las Ramblas, and other visits near the port and beach area. They visited the famous Cavas Codorniu on the way to the Museo Dalí in Figueres, and they spent the night in the coastal town of Roses, where they enjoyed fireworks and live music during the celebration of la Noche de San Juan.
Students provided weekly diaries in a private Facebook page, created especially for the components of their language class, a page in which they shared pictures and comments about their everyday experiences. The outcome was greatly enriching to all of them, and they shared that they had the time of their lives! One student commented: “Fue [una experiencia] increíble que nosotros nunca vamos a olvidar. (It was an incredible [experience] that we will never forget.)”