This fall semester, third year Thetas Fleming Redd, Devon Murphy, and Julia Cooper have had the amazing experience of studying abroad in Barcelona. They are taking classes like Global Media and International Journalism, Politics and Society of the European Union, Barcelona history, Contemporary Spanish Art, and Marketing and Culture of FC Barcelona. These courses have provided them with a deeper understanding of the European Union and Barcelona as well as Spanish culture in general.
Throughout their time abroad so far, they have travelled extensively! One of the girls’ highlights was visiting Munich, Germany during Oktoberfest, where they met up with many other American students, including the other UVA girls studying abroad in Florence. They dressed up in authentic dirndls and were immersed in German culture. Other trip highlights have included Copenhagen and Prague. In Copenhagen, they visited Nyhavn, the Round Tower, and many castles and palaces. In Prague, they visited the Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, wax museum, John Lennon Wall, and Warhol and Dalí exhibits.
The girls’ experience in Barcelona has given them a once-in-a-lifetime perspective as they are living in Spain during the Catalonia Independence. On October 1, over 90% of Catalonia voted to become an independent nation. Since that date, the girls have witnessed protests, speeches, and conflict right before their eyes. When the Catalonian president declared its independence, the Spanish government implemented Article 155 (Catalonia loses its autonomy as a region) for the first time in history. They are truly living one of Spain’s most historical moments in person.
Despite the political craziness, the girls have loved every minute. They’ve made friends from so many other different colleges along the East Coast, including Trinity, University of Richmond, Elon, and SMU, among others. They have learned so much from the city full of culture and history. They have loved the food, especially the croquettes or paella.