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¡Hola! My name is Natalie DiRoberto and I am a senior at the University of Tampa studying Communications, Culture, and Media and Marketing. I was in Barcelona this summer to complete an internship with Honest Fashion, an online platform providing sustainable training for fashion professionals. As a Marketing intern, I assisted the company in developing its social media presence to promote their upcoming course in fashion technology.

Upon arriving in Barcelona, I did not know anybody in the program. Nonetheless, I started to sign up for all of the cultural activities that Barcelona SAE provided for us. On the second day of my program, we went to Sitges, a coastal town about an hour outside of Barcelona. Here, the other interns and I explored the beautiful cobblestone streets and admired the villas along the beach. The homes were absolutely beautiful, decorated with bright blue paints and natural plants. We were fortunate to learn more about the history of the town through a guided tour that Barcelona SAE provided for us. I highly recommend joining the Spanish language tour groups while participating in any cultural events or tours, as it’s a wonderful way to learn the language. I already saw a development in my skills from this first day trip! 

After the tour, we went for lunch all together along the coastline. The meal started with multiple courses of tapas including patatas bravas, grilled vegetables, a cheese plate, guacamole, and many more delicious appetizers. Tapas have become my new favorite course as it allows you to share and taste many types of food with friends and family. This time is devoted to conversation and is never rushed in Spain. I can assure you that we enjoyed our time very much as this is how I met most of my friends in the program! For our main course, we had a choice between vegetarian paella, steak or seafood. I ordered the vegetable paella and it was absolutely fabulous! After an hour and a half of delicious food, we thought that the meal was complete; however, our servers brought out an array of desserts. I tried the Crema Catalana, a traditional dessert in Barcelona, which tasted like crème brûlée! This meal was a wonderful introduction to Spanish cuisine. 

Following our very filling lunch, we all ventured to the beach to enjoy some sun. Although the water was slightly chilly, it was very refreshing after walking around in the summer heat. The view from the ocean was definitely my favorite part of our beach time. The landscape looked like a painting with the water, mountains, and homes layered against each other. Finally, after a very long day, we made it back to Barcelona via coach bus.

Although I was nervous to participate in this trip without knowing anyone else, I am proud of myself for exploring the beautiful coast and meeting such amazing people. During my time in Barcelona, I ended up doing so much with the group of friends that I met on that first day trip to Sitges, and it made it so much more fun to explore Barcelona.

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