Guide for international students in Barcelona
So you are planning to study in Barcelona?! Every year Barcelona welcomes thousands of students who study at international
universities in Barcelona that teach in English
. The city of FC Barcelona, long sandy beaches and non-stop fiesta! Being a student in this amazing city in Spain is exciting but in the beginning you may feel a bit lost, especially if you don\’t speak Spanish and you haven\’t been to Barcelona before.
So for that reason to ensure you get the best out of your experience as an international student in Barcelona, we have put together this guide to give you an idea of how life in Barcelona will be. This article will enable you to find out the hotspots for shopping, dining and accommodation, all of which will help you feel in Barcelona like at home.
Where Can You Live?
Finding somewhere to live when you study in Barcelona does not have to be hard you just need to know your preferences. There are two main choices for international student accommodation private flats and rooms in shared apartments. When choosing a great place to live in Barcelona you have to consider the distance between the accommodation and your place of study; good public transport links; nearby shops and facilities. It might be hard to know all this if you are not familiar with the city, so do not rush! Don\’t arrange any long-term accommodation before coming to Barcelona.
However, you may start looking to get an idea of what is available on the market and arrange viewing as soon as you arrive. There are a lot of resources on the internet to help you find housing, but the best of them which is used by many international students is Loquo. This web-site is the collection of many private and professional ads and is available in English. In the housing section you can chose between flats for rent or rooms for rent or you can also write your personal ad for free specifying your preferences and see if there is anybody like you looking for a great flat mate.
If you are going to be studying in Spain for a while, you will need to open a bank account. Managing your money when you
study abroad in Spain
will be easier with a Spanish bank account. Ask at your University if they have any special agreements with any local banks, usually such agreements give you considerable discounts and special advantages.
If your University doesn\’t collaborate with any bank, then you can open an account in one of the Spanish \”cajas\” such as Caixa Catalunya, La Caixa, Caja Madrid, to name a few. As a rule, these local banks have special offers for people younger than 25 years old so that you will not need to pay bank account maintenance fees and other service fees. Opening an account in Spanish savings banks is easy you just need to present your passport.
How Can You Travel Around Barcelona?
Barcelona has an excellent public transport system so travelling in and around Barcelona is easy and accessible. The public transport in Barcelona consists of metro, buses, night buses, trams, light trains, trains and even bikes. The different transportation means can take you exactly to the places you need to, at any time and with great level of precision and convenience.
The ticket your purchase is valid for using any means of public transport (apart from bikes): the ticket is valid for 75 minutes and the passenger can change within different means of transport to reach the destination. Important information for all of you, fellow party colleagues: on Saturday night metro in Barcelona is not closing at all! During the rest of the week when the metro closes at night, it is not a problem either the efficient system of night buses will take you to any part of the city and suburbs of Barcelona.
Finally, you might have heard that Barcelona is a highly technological city, so here is a tip: if you are not patient enough to wait for the next bus, simply SMS the individual number of a bus stop and a number of a bus you need to 217412 and you will receive an instant SMS with the time you have to wait until the bus you need arrives. If the waiting time is too long you might prefer walking 5 -10 minutes to the nearest metro station or taking a tram. As you see moving around Barcelona is a pleasure!
You will ask: \”But what about bikes?\” Yes, in Barcelona you can be a user of a public bike system. Simply take a bike from one of the many bike stations around the city, go wherever you want, and leave the bike at another bike station. The service is called Bicing and you will be able to become a user of it as soon as you have your address in Barcelona.
Where Can You Eat? The Cheat Sheet Is Right Here
Sure, you can go to the usual Burger King\’s or McDonalds, but would you like to do so in a country where a break for lunch officially lasts two hours and eating is like a ritual? Here are some of the great places where you can eat for around the same price as Burger King s or McDonalds but with the feeling of a local atmosphere and taste.
Pans & Company: A Spanish fast food sandwich restaurant with many locations throughout the city. Their focus is on typical \”bocadillo\” sandwiches which are like mini baguettes prepared in a traditional way.
Bocatta: The same style as Pans & Company with locations in many strategic places of Barcelona. They serve traditional sandwiches, salads and local specialties.
Fres Co: A great place if you are very hungry. This restaurant, which is also a chain, is a self-service buffet with a great variety of salads, hot dishes and desserts. All fresh and ready to be eaten! You can help yourself as many times as you want until you can\’t more!
La Champaneria: The greatest place with affordable food you can discover when studying in Barcelona. Real name is Can Paixano, but everyone knows it as \”La Champaneria\”.This tiny place features a true dockside warehouse atmosphere, with barrels of local champagne (cava) stacked against the walls and dozens of hams hanging from the rafters. Glasses and bottles of cava as well as plates of freshly fried ham and sheep\’s cheese are served from behind a massive old wooden bar, and the crowd stands 10 deep or spills out into the street. Push and shove persistently, you will be let through and you will get served! Find the place at Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 7.
What If You Want to Make Your Own Food?
Well, That\’s Where the Array of Supermarkets Come In!
As in any other big city, there is all sort of supermarkets in Barcelona, from low-cost to expensive and gourmet. The cheapest ones are German supermarkets Lidl, where you can buy every kind of grocery products, and Spanish supermarkets Mercadona selling a great variety of fresh seafood and meat.
Mercadona supermarkets can be found in every neighborhood of Barcelona. When shopping there we recommend going for its own brand products Hacendado and Deliplus pasta, souces, toilet papers, cleaning liquids, etc., as these are value for money and very similar to branded products.
Al Campo (local name of a French supermarkets chain Auchan) and Carrefour are huge supermarkets in the shopping molls located on the periphery of Barcelona. Here you can buy everything from food to coffee cups and stuff for the house.
Finally, there are expensive supermarkets selling exquisite high quality food: in terms of price they go in this order: Caprabo and El Corte Ingles, the last one is located in the centre of Barcelona, at Plaza Catalunya and can become a great place for buying traditional Spanish food, like wines, olive oil, jamon (ham) iberico, etc. for presents when travelling back home for Christmas or summer holidays.
This All Sounds Great, but Where Can I Study in Barcelona?
Every year many international students come to Spain to study at several international universities in Barcelona that teach in English. The most preferred study area for international students in Barcelona is that of business studies. Location of Barcelona between the bulk of Spain and the northern heart of Europe, and also facing the Mediterranean Sea and the emerging markets of North Africa remains a strategic advantage for the economic success of Barcelona and for the international companies located in the city.
It is not surprising that more than 50% of all international companies in Spain are located in Barcelona. Studying in an international business school in Barcelona provides international students with an advantage of enjoying high quality of life in this Mediterranean city while receiving high quality business education at first hand from international business professionals and professors living and working in Barcelona.
If you are not really business-oriented, you can opt to study fashion and design at Instituto Europeo di Design, Italian design school in Barcelona, or go for careers in engineering at Universitat Polit cnica de Catalunya.
This article is written by Gbs, A staff of global-business-school.org where you can find
masters in barcelona, bba in barcelona, business school in barcelona,
and many more.