Living Abroad: My experience in Barcelona

LiviaLivia

I’ve always wanted to live abroad. It took me a while to make this decision and throw myself into this experience, but the wait was totally worth it. It was simply the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

When I was 25, I decided to quit my job for a while and do a MBA in Barcelona. In theory, I was going to stay here for just 1 year and then I was going to move back to Brazil after finishing my studies, but it didn’t really happen as planned. It’s been more than 2 years that I’m living in Barcelona, and I still want to stay here for longer. It’s impressive how life can surprise us, isn’t it?

In this post, I want to tell you guys a bit about my experience living in Barcelona and maybe inspire some of you to make the decision to live abroad for a while. Many people ask me: why did you choose Barcelona? I must admit it wasn’t really my first choice, but now I’m pretty sure I’m living in the perfect city.

At first, I wanted to live in London, because it has always been my dream. I started to look for courses there, but I soon realised that I couldn’t afford it since I was going to pay for my MBA with my own savings. London is an extremely expensive city, even for locals. Even public transportation there is outrageous.

After “discarding” London, my choice was Spain. I was between Madrid (because of Real Madrid, I admit!) and Barcelona, but soon I noticed Barcelona was more of a lively city. I knew some people from Vitória (my city in Brazil) who had lived there and I did not hesitate asking them about their impressions. They all answered the exact same thing: Barcelona is amazing! And they were right!

In January 2015, I moved to Barcelona to do a MBA in Business Administration at European University, with a major in International Marketing. I enjoyed the course, I met some really amazing people and I made some lifetime friends. Sara, for example, is basically my Colombian sister.

During my first year in Barcelona, I chose to live alone. Since I got there without knowing anyone, I didn’t want to risk sharing a flat with strangers. After 6 months, however, I wanted to move from my flat and save some money (living alone isn’t cheap, right?!), but my rental contract was for 1 whole year, which meant I couldn’t leave the flat before. Of course there are advantages in living alone (privacy, do whatever you want without caring if you will bother other people, etc), but there are also disadvantages, especially on those days you miss your family and friends.

Finding a flat in Barcelona isn’t so easy. There is a lot of demand and the prices get higher and higher each passing year. In another post, I’ll write about the best websites and rental agencies, ok? Maybe I’ll be able to help someone that’s moving there.

But going back to my experience: my first year in Barcelona was simply perfect. Everything was new and I didn’t really have to worry about anything besides my studies.

I had the time of my life and I travelled as much as I could. The parties in Barcelona are also amazing and I’m sure you guys have heard about it. One of my favourites is Brunch -In.

In December 2015, my classes ended and I told my Mum I didn’t feel like going back to Brazil. In order to stay longer, I needed to find a job or even an internship, so I could occupy my time and be able to afford some extra months in Spain. Only in April 2016 I found a job. I started working at European Bartender School, world’s leading bar school, in the sales department. And before you ask me I’ll tell you that I don’t know much about alcohol and I can barely prepare a “caipirinha”.

I remember my reaction on my first day at work. I was impressed by the cool office, the laid back atmosphere, the loud music and all of those young people working there. I loved to wake up every day, go to work and see my friends. Everything was awesome! The company has even organised some tours and trips whilst I was there. In September 2016, we all went to Rome.

In January, I went Brazil and ended up staying here for a relatively long period, focusing on my MBA thesis and on the SIS project. Now I just came back to Barcelona, without a return ticket, so stay tuned for scenes of the next chapter…

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