I decided to go abroad to Barcelona for the semester mostly because it is a City. After living in a City my entire life, I quickly realized that the City is where I needed to be. When I was younger I took the train everywhere. I was always surrounded by all different types of people: a student studying comparative literature with a blue spiked mohawk and large piercings, a business woman in high heels, barely holding the subway pole for fear of picking up germs, a half-dressed homeless man chanting for change. After experience living in different cities all over the world, I realized although these people might look different on the outside, they are actually a lot like me. When I first came to Barcelona I was worried I wouldn’t fit in with any locals here, however, I was completely wrong.
In my Communications class that I am taking this semester, the teacher paired us up with a college student from Barcelona. Her name was Alba Andreu Casalins and she was an only child and she was born and raised in Barcelona. When I first made plans to meet her I wasn’t as excited as I should have been, however, we immediately got into good conversation.
The first thing we spoke about was how she has lunch at her grandparents house every Monday at 2:30. That reminded me a lot of myself because I usually go to my grandparents once a week since they only live 15 minutes away from me. Our next topic was about music. We both like the same genres and both still listen to old disney music!
When we started talking about school, that was when we shared some differences. I was in total shock when she told me she paid only $1600 a year to go to college because I pay almost double of that!
I was really interested in why there was such a huge difference in college prices. I was told it was mostly because they pay a higher amount of taxes and because not as many students in Europe goes to college as in America.
When she told me this I remember thinking that there had to be much more to college in Europe then just the cheap price. The curriculum system had to be different and I am sure the teachers weren’t as motivated to teach. I asked Alba about the attendance policy and she told me they were allowed to skip every single class and just show up for the final. If that were me I feel like I would have very little motivation to actually show up, and would therefore, not get as good of an education as I currently am at the College of Charleston.
When I asked Alba if she would have gone to America for college if she had the opportunity to and she said no. I guess we are both so used to our own college experiences that we couldn’t picture going somewhere else for that long!