By Jaclyn Wood, University of Delaware

Since high school, I knew I wanted to major in International Business and study for a semester, or even a year, abroad. My heart was set on Spain, after previously working a summer in Madrid and falling in love with the culture and people. Luckily, my university offered a great spring program in Barcelona. I was super excited to apply for that upcoming spring program; students had shared their experiences with me and I felt destined to go.

To my surprise, however, my university discontinued the spring program that year, and decided to launch the same program in the fall. I was upset with the change at first, but have come to realize it was the best idea, because Barcelona in the fall ROCKS!

Here are my top five reasons to study abroad in the fall:

  1. Let’s Go to the Beach, Beach: Unlike during the spring semester, when it is rainy and cold in Barcelona, the fall stays rather mild; inviting people to walk along the port, run along the beach, sunbathe in the sun, or catch some waves! In fact, the temperature stays around the mid-70s throughout October. So take advantage of all there is to do near Barceloneta and Diagonal Mar!
  2. The Coastal Towns: Once the high season ends in early to mid-October, it can feel like you have these towns all to yourself. There are many seaside cities to explore, like Calella, which can become the perfect day trip from Barcelona. Enjoy a glass of sangria and fresh seafood!
  3. Best time for Attractions: Plan your visits to Montjuïc, Tibidabo, and Gaudí’s Sagrada Family and Park Güell, as this time of year boasts pretty landscape and lively atmosphere. Of course, this is also the best time to explore these fantastic places because the number of tourists start to dwindle and the scenery is the most photogenic, thanks to all the greenery and sunny skies.
  4. Los Festivos: Some of the best festivals and events are held during this time of year, highlighting the traditions, history, and culture of Catalonia. The biggest and best celebrations include La Mercè, El Día de la Hispanidad, and All Saints Day. You don’t want to miss out!
  5. Halloween and Navidad: Both holidays are spectacular days to celebrate while studying in Barcelona. You get to experience a different culture’s traditions and partake in all of the festivities. The food is something you must try. I recommend buying the roasted chestnuts, or “castañas”, from a local street vendor. Stroll around the Gothic quarter and shop around the Christmas markets in front of the cathedral. After all, it’s the most magical time of the year!