Spain Elective Abroad: Think + Feel = Theel
This blog post is written by Jie-Ling, a participant of the 2017 Spain Elective Abroad…
Full of culture, gorgeous architecture, mouth-wateringly delicious tapas, and lovely people, Spain is definitely all it says it is and more. An enriching and rewarding experience, this Elective Abroad provided me with a glimpse into the socio-economic structure of the country. Opening your eyes up to something exceptionally beautiful, interesting and different, there was simply so much to take in within 10 days. We explored, analyzed and deconstructed what we saw in order to reveal, interpret and highlight a deeper meaning. Further, through visually documenting the neighborhoods of Chueca, Lavapiés and Salamanca in Madrid, and Barrio Gótico, El Born, Montjuïc and Barceloneta in Barcelona, we noticed a distinct contrast between each neighborhood, and how gentrification and tourism have affected these areas.
What do you see from this picture? People sitting around, eating, and basking in the sun? Anything else that catches your eye? Through this course, your brain and body will be transported metaphorically and physically, accordingly, to a whole new place. A point of view that you might have noticed, but did not know the pertinent meanings behind. Although we were given a guideline as to what each one of us may explore and learn about, we were also blessed with the freedom to capture and analyze what we felt was important to us. How often do you get the opportunity to use the city, literally, as your main body of text, the focal point of what you must do? Amazing. Just absolutely incredible to be given the opportunity to explore, learn and grow together as a group, even in such a short period.
We also had the honor of visiting BBVA Headquarters with Anxo Lopez, DesignIt Madrid, Endeavor, Morillas Agency with Marc Morillas and Pau Dalmau, Team Labs, and meeting Juan Carlos Belloso. Every encounter brought something new to the table to learn about – whether from strategic designing in a bank, supporting entrepreneurs with social-impact startups, branding companies – think + feel = theel, or re-branding Barcelona. These opportunities allowed us to discuss topics with a different culture; exposing us to varying ways people think, and a peek into the world of working and living in Spain.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my Spain elective abroad experience. I would recommend going on this course if you would love to better understand and immerse yourself in the culture, country, language, architecture and food.