In Spain by Eller Student

21 days ago, I began a journey that I knew would change my life forever.  Now, 3 weeks later, I have made enough friends and memories to last a lifetime.

Taking part in the DreamCareers program in Barcelona has made me realize so much about myself, and I am truly blessed to be part of it.  It has taught me how big our world is, and how much there is outside of our little bubble.  After leaving Orange County, CA 2 years to study at the UofA, I realized how big the US is.  Now, after being part of this program, I see how small the US is.  The vast difference in culture is enough to make a man crazy, I’ve witnessed it.

One of the biggest differences I have realized from the US and Spain, is the working culture.  They are so different from each other.  Here in Spain, people are very relaxed, and working conditions are far more lenient than in the US.  I show up to work, and my boss is wearing shorts with a polo.  People are free to take breaks, for cigarettes or coffee, or whatever they please.  They don’t need permission from anyone, they just go; I love it!  Working hours are not strict like in the US.  For example I am allowed to show up from anywhere between 8-10am, and can leave from 3-5pm.  This is unheard of in America.

Another major difference I have witnessed is the transportation system.  Everyone walks here, everyone.  You either bike, walk, take the metro, the bus, one way or another, you will walk to commute.  And because of this, I have realized that everyone in Europe is skinny, at least in Barcelona.  It has opened my eyes to how spoiled, demanding, and inpatient us Americans are.  And although a metro may not be as sufficient as a car, the public transportation in Spain works quite flawlessly.

And the architecture of course!  The buildings here are insanely crafty, being built by some of the most brilliant minds.  The picture below is of me sitting on a huge statue of Christopher Columbus, where he is pointing in the direction of the US.  There are endless amounts of buildings, statues, and other forms of art that are displayed all over Barcelona, and I love it.  I can’t wait to further explore Spain and Europe in the coming weeks that I am here, and hope that I can only meet more people and make better memories.