Mariann's Portfolio Weblog

divendres, de novembre 26, 2004

4 months in Barcelona...

Hei alle sammen!

Now I have less than 1 month left in Barcelona. It´s sad but I’m also “ready” to go back home. I´m leaving the 20th of Desember and I know I will be sad since my stay in Barcelona is over, but also happy since I’m going back home to my family and friends. I’m really looking forward to see my family and spend Christmas with them. It will be so nice to see my friends again too and spend time with them.

Barcelona is a great city and I feel lucky since I have studied and lived here for almost 5 months. The city has got everything.. Nice beaches, good shopping, different and many festivals, a lot of attractions and you name it! The first months we spend alot of time at the beach Nova Icaria. It was great and very relaxing.
As I have written before, me and all the Norwegians in class took a spanish course at Enforex. It was fun learning a bit spanish. But the course was a bit expensive and we didn’t get to talk as much spanish as we wanted to in the class, we learned more grammar. But I have heard that the International School is a good place to take a spanish course if you want to!
Me and my Norwegian friends live together in a big apartment, close to Plaza España. We have had a fun time living together. But if you really want to learn more spanish it is a good idea to live with some spanish people. Then you get to talk and practise your spanish. We like Plaza España very much. It is close to everything. It is a lot of things to do close by and it feels like a very safe area as well. I really like the walk up to MNAC –Museu Nacional d’ Art de Catalunya. MNAC is such a nice building and also the Magic Fountain is great. The view over Barcelona is beautiful!

I have seen the most important things / attractions in this city, I hope. When my parents were visiting me for a week we took the Bus Turistica one day. All of us liked this very much and we saw a lot! Of course, I had seen much of if before, but it was nice anyway. And of course, I have to mention Sagrada Familia. This is an amazing building and I really hope I get the opportunity to see it when it is finished.
I have also actually been to two fotball matches at Camp Nou. I’m not that big fotball fan, but this was great. The atmosphere is fantastic!
I also have to mention the shopping in this town. It is so many nice stores and I guess it will be no problem bying some nice christmas presents. I’m also looking forward to the christmas marked that is in front of the Cathedral, I have heard it is so nice!

One of the things I like the most in this town is all the festivals beeing held throughout the year. In the end of August there is a festival in Gracia. It was so fun! People were so happy, dancing in the streets and no to forget all the nice decorations in the streets. Also the La Merce made big impressions. So many people all over town and many things happening. I have never seen somthing like the Human Towers before, I‘m glad I have it on tape!
I like to travel and visit new places. When I came to Barcelona I thought I would have good time to visit places close by. But now I don’t have that many weeks left in Barcelona and I never got the time to travel that much. I have just been to Valencia and Alicante. I really would like to go to Madrid and it is a pity I haven’t since I have been living so close for many months. Well, I can’t make it all, I just have to visit Madrid some other time then!

I will really recommend students to choose Barcelona if they want to take an exchange program. I don’t regret it for a second!!!
Now I’m just going to enjoy and have fun the last month in Barcelona. When I come home to everyday life I know I will miss this town alot!!!! But I have been drinking of the fountain in La Rambla many times, so I know for sure I will come back :)


Enjoy your last time everybody!

dilluns, de novembre 08, 2004

Near the end

Hi Mariann!

Well, Winter's coming and they'll soon be selling caganers in the Christmas market. How have things been for you? What things have you really liked, and what have you experienced that you think you wouldn't recommend to future students? That's our final assignment, a kind of summary of what you have done and seen.

See you on Wednesday for the presentation.

dimecres, d’octubre 20, 2004

Catalan vs Spanish...

Hola!

Me and Inger did this assignment together last week. We asked 6 persons, mostly persons at school. We asked them if they felt Catelan or Spanish and if they wanted Catalonia to be independent from the rest of Spain. We both thought the assignment was interesting and found out that most of them felt Catelan but that they felt different when it comes to the independence. But I also have to mention that we had some language problems, but I think we understood the most.

A teacher at school (we forgot to ask his name) had a strong Catalan feeling and felt very Catalan. He has been living in Barcelona all his life, his family as well. He talked a bit about the importance of Catalonia`s language, culture and history and also that he wanted Catalonia to be independent from the rest of Spain. He thought that Catalonia was different from the rest of Spain. “People living in Catalonia are thinking in an other way”, he said. He also mentioned the economy of Catalonia, that they have a rich economy.

The “receptionist” at the first floor at our school felt also Catelan and she did identify herself with a Catelan woman. She has been living in Catalonia her whole life, and as she said; “she felt Catelan in her heart”. The question about the independence of Catalonia she didn`t say that much, but she said it was interesting, but not necessary for her with independence.

Finally we asked a student at our school. She has, as the two others, also been living in Barcelona her whole life. But she felt both Catelan and Spanish. She didn`t like the thought of Catalonia beeing independence from the rest of Spain, she prefered to be a part of Spain. But she really wanted the Catelan language to be official and she also said she felt that the Catelan language got discriminated from the rest of Spain and also from spanish talking countries in South-Amerika.


Have a nice day :)

dimarts, d’octubre 05, 2004

Barcelona...

Hola!!

I have been in Barcelona for 2 months now, something I can´t believe because the time has gone so fast. I have taken a spanish course for 5 weeks at Enforex together with the norwegians in class. After the spanish course we had a week off and then we travelled to Valencia and also visited some friends in Alicante. Valencia is a beautiful city, I really recommend you to go there sometime!

Back home, before I left to Barcelona I was so excited over this opportunity to study in this city. That I was going to stay in Barcelona for almost 5 months made me feel so glad. I like to travel alot and also experience new places and since I had been thinking for a long time about taking a semester abroad I thought Barcelona would be a great choice -and it was :) I like this city alot and before coming I had heard so many nice things about Barcelona.

I grew up in a small village at the westcoast of Norway, but I have been living in bigger towns in Norway for many years now. Anyway, it is a big difference coming from the small cities in Norway to this big city. There are many things to say about this, but I just love that there are something happening all the time! There are so many festivals, concerts and always something going on. I´m very fascinated over this because it is not like this in Norway. The point is that it is no time to get bored in Barcelona!! I´m also glad I have experienced both "Festa major de Gracia" and "La Merce" -it was great!
On the other hand I don´t feel that Barcelona is that huge city, if you know what I meen. I expected it to maybe be even more crowded, caotic and also bigger distances between places, so that suppriced me a bit.

But before coming I had also heard of the "mañana-thinking" and also that it is a lot of criminality in Barcelona. I got the impression that everything in Barcelona and generally in Spain was mañana and also that Barcelona kind of was a dangerous city. I don´t feel like this at all. Of course it is crime going on here as well, as in other big cities. But I don´t feel it is a dangerous city, not more than other big cities. I guess I feel like this because in the beginning I was thinking alot about this and afraid to get robbed. But now I feel all relaxed about it and know I just have to "follow" some roules. Another thing that supprised me is the "mañana-thinking". I know that in some cases they are a bit "slow", but not as much mañana I thought they would be.

This was some of my expectations and experiences about Barcelona. I know I´m going to enjoy very much the 3 last months, and that I definitely will come back to Barcelona sometime, if not many times:)

Hasta luego amigos!

Mariann

dimarts, d’agost 10, 2004

Welcome to Catalonia

Hello and welcome to the course!