Enriching Experiences: Spain As Our Textbook
This blog post was written by Camila and Claudia Gonzalez, participants of the Spain Elective Abroad…
Spending a few days in Madrid and Barcelona with a group of Babson students and well-prepared professors was the best experience for us. Throughout the program, we focused on viewing the cities as texts, allowing us to obtain a complete experience of our visit to Spain. We learned the uniqueness and distinctions that each city has to offer. While Madrid is known as the capital of Spain and Europe’s second greenest city, Barcelona is known for some of the world’s most beautiful Gothic and modernist architecture. Yet, both cities are full of culture and history that fascinates locals and visitors.
Throughout the course, we were able to expand our knowledge by visiting all the main attractions in the cities. We considered the social and political history of both cities by analyzing the innovation of the urban spaces, such as architecture, art, music, food, and cultural activities. In Madrid, we visited the Spanish Stock Exchange, Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Spanish Congress, Retiro Park, among various neighborhoods. We also supported the Real Madrid at an exciting Soccer game in Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. In Barcelona, we visited La Pedrera, Casa Batlò, Sagrada Familia, Museu de Picasso, Parc Guell, among others. We also took advantage of the sunny weather to visit Sitges and enjoy the beautiful beach.
In addition to exploring the cultural landmarks in the cities, we focused on understanding how the development of the urban spaces and the sustainability affects the political, economic, and social realities. This made the course a lot more interesting since it require us to practice our observation skills to critically analyze our surroundings in the new environment. We were also exposed to learning from consultants and social entrepreneurs in the cities, helping us to conclude our investigation of the city’s production as spaces of creativity, innovation, and experimentation. After this enriching experience, we were able to apply our knowledge not only academically, but also personally.