Your first days in the city
Exciting! After a long and probably tiring journey, you have finally arrived at your new destination. The adventure can begin.
The first day is always a little messy for everyone. You still have to find your way to the local supermarket, the ATM, even your new school. Also the public transport will be a mystery at first. Get comfortable and stop worrying; You will settle in in no time.
That Barcelona is a great place to live does not take a lot of convincing. The city is packed with museums and galleries, wonderful cobblestone streets, ancient palaces and secret corners. The beach is a metro ride away, and if you need some quiet time, you can take it in the other direction and in 20 minutes you are alone up in the natural park which surrounds the city. And of course: wherever you choose to live, there is always a nice square with a local coffee place where you can settle in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cost of living
There are many things to take into consideration when moving to a new country, and your perspective of prices change depending on where you are coming from. Compare the cost of living in your city to Barcelona on this page and clear a clear idea of what to expect.
As a guide, a furnished room in a shared apartment will cost you around 500€, bills included, sometimes a bit more. If you are lucky, a bit less.
Make sure it’s got internet connection and consider its travel connections.
How to get a good internet connection?
All schools offer free Wi-Fi and on the first day of school you will get the credentials. Also, most guest houses have a Wi-Fi network. Once you’ve arrived, you can immediately ask for the password. In some guest houses, the internet is not free, so be sure to check this out beforehand. In addition, most countries have mobile data networks. For most countries, you have to buy a local SIM card. Check beforehand whether your phone is compatible with any type of SIM card and whether your phone won’t block the card when you put it in.
How do I reach the school on my first day?
Two words: Google Maps. The simplest way to find your way through unknown places these days is your beloved smartphone. If you have not purchased a local SIM card yet and you are not sure if you have Mobile Data or Wi-Fi on the go, take a screenshot or print out the directions and you’re ready for departure. Since it is the first day of school, it’s advisable to leave on time. Everything is still new and finding your way probably takes a bit longer than normal. If you arrive a few days before school starts, you can also plan a rehearsal journey; this way you can already plan the route and find the way at ease.
What if I don’t know the language?
Depending on the level at which you start, you sometimes have to get used to hearing nothing but a foreign language all day long. In the beginning, Google Translate will probably be your best friend. Your guest house and the staff at the school are also used to people of all different language levels, so they can talk slower or use simpler words if needed. You will see, the longer you stay in the country, the more you will understand the language by just hearing and seeing words a lot. If you want to have a good knowledge and a fluent conversation with locals, then it’s suggested to study a language course. Nowadays, there are all kinds of courses and levels to do this.
What if I don’t make any friends?
Don’t worry, the great thing about studying abroad is that almost everyone at school has the same thought. Your fellow students are probably just as nervous about making new friends as you. But it is easier than you think. Just make casual conversation with people, participate in activities and be your great, funny and open-minded self. If you still find it difficult, your classmates are often a good start for a possible friendship. After all, you are in the same class for a large number of hours per week and doing homework together is a good way to bond (and much more fun than doing it on your own).
What if I get homesick?
Let’s get one thing straight: homesickness is normal. It can happen to anyone at any age. Usually, it feels good to pamper yourself first and it’s certainly okay to be emotional for a moment, but our recommendation is to distract yourself, and Barcelona, and Metàfora in particular is a great place to get distracted (and inspired!).
Being busy and meeting with friends helps to get over your homesickness, so sign up for activities and discover your new city with your new friends. Also calling or Skyping with your parents and friends might help.