Of all the adjectives that I have been thinking of using to describe the feeling of coming to Barcelona, I would say that it resembles one feeling: being starstruck. To be starstruck is to meet a famous person you have always wanted to meet. When you finally meet this famous person, you can't believe that you are actually meeting this person. I couldn't believe that I had finally set foot on the other side of the world. For over a year I have been telling people that I am going to Barcelona. At last, it happened. I have arrived.
The excitement began when we were approaching a layover in the JFK airport in New York. It was the first time I had seen New York in real life. I thought of all the movies that I have seen that took place in New York and at last I had seen it with my own eyes. It was a foggy (smoggy?) day in New York, so maybe the Statue of Liberty was just out of sight from my seat on the plane.
After an uneventful stay in the New York Airport, we made our flight to Barcelona, Spain. What started as a timid full-group shuffle from the terminal to the other side of the terminal became a whirlwind of tours, handshakes, meeting our host families, and a 7 hour jet lag feeling.
Regarding my host family, they are the best. Alberto is the father of my host family, and I am grateful for the time he has taken to give me a tour of Barcelona. The insight of Spain that he has provided me, and all of Europe as well, has been riveting and informative.
Regarding the school that I am visiting, it is called Colegio Reial Monestir De Santa Isabel. I will go into more detail in another entry, but I will give you a quick rundown of thoughts and observations I have made thus far...
- The students have more than 90% of their classes in English. The students are required to read textbooks in English, give presentations in English, write notes in English, and take exams in English. That is content integration every day.
- In this school, the teachers move from class to class and the students only change classrooms a few times.
- The school day begins at 9 AM and ends at 5 PM.
(Disclaimer: those are not two massive trees in the distance. Those are just two twigs in the foreground.)
Until next time...