Barcelona SAE’s TODOS “Let’s Talk” series is a safe space for students of diverse backgrounds to meet and discuss topics pertaining to immersing themselves in the culture of Barcelona, Spain. It is a judgment free zone that encourages dialogue and questions, the recognition of differences, and it holds each person accountable to do the work of sharing experiences and coming to new understandings. These intimate conversations allow students to meet one another and to connect in a meaningful way before they arrive in Barcelona, which also helps with acclimation in a new environment.
We hold two virtual sessions (which are informal but informative!) before students depart to help them prepare for Barcelona by diving deeply into budgeting tips and tricks as well as ways to ensure self care while overseas.
In the budgeting session, we share a spreadsheet that we have developed that outlines day to day expenses for three different types of budgets- Frugal Fernanda, Average Alex, Extravagant Ellis are our example students. This gives students an idea of how much money per day they need to spend on food, day trips, cultural activities, and they will see that living on a budget in Barcelona is in fact, very possible. The comprehensive spreadsheet shows students that they can have a lot of fun and take advantage of the city without overspending! Students have the chance to explore ways to eat and dine like a local, the benefits of living in a homestay, and how to travel throughout the city using the right metro pass. Even though it might appear that students are living in Barcelona on an unlimited budget, there are many students who are watching their wallets as well!
There are many ways to think about self care, and it is not limited to ensuring you are getting enough rest, exercising, and eating a balanced diet. Self care also looks like understanding specific Spanish terms to be aware of while abroad that will probably be new to students. We explore resources that students who need academic, physical or emotional support can utilize on-site, how students of color can find community and resources in Barcelona, and resources for students in the LGBTQIA+ community. We also discuss ways to be an active ally and Barcelona SAE’s bias response form; a form that allows all participants of our programs to anonymously (if desired) report any form of discrimination.
In addition to the pre-departure virtual session, the Barcelona SAE on-site team will hold four in-person or virtual sessions that discuss a range of topics including: Wellness and Mental Health for Students, the LGBTQIA+ Community in Barcelona, Race and Ethnicity in Barcelona, and Accessibility in Barcelona.
We hope to see you in our next “Let’s Talk” discussion!