Barcelona – there is something about the city that keeps attracting thousands of people each year.
Barcelona is one of the largest cities in Europe and home to numerous people of all backgrounds.
In Barcelona, on the same bus you can find the typical “guiri”* with the face sunburnt, a girl dressed in formal hijab and a group of high school friends happily complaining about their biology teacher. Everyday you see newcomers amazed by the beautiful architecture of the city and simply existing here. In April 2018 I was one of them! I had come from a small city in the center of Portugal (called Leiria). I had arrived in a new place ready to start my journey.
One of the best ways to feel “at home” is to get a grip of the customs and language of the city. SPEAK helps you with this. Unfortunately for me, when I arrived in Barcelona, SPEAK didn’t exist.
This did not stop me from wanting to meet locals! I tried to look for communities and non-profit organizations that would be cool for me to know. And how do you get to know NGO’s in Barcelona? Well… you google.
After reading the summary to some of them I decided to contact the one that had the most original name. This association hosts every year an inclusive festival regarding scenic arts and dance and this was how I met Francisca.
She was my first contact person of the association. But At first I thought she was from Barcelona and I must confess I was disappointed to learn she was also Portuguese.
In other words, my sadness was very visible and today we still laugh about how I reacted. Nevertheless, Chica has been around the city for almost 5 years and to be honest, local or not, I could not have asked for a better “guide” and better friendship here.
Back home I knew the SPEAK project (I had been one of the Buddies) and before I left I told to one of the organizers that if there was a chance to open a SPEAK in Barcelona I was in. Therefore, when SPEAK contacted me I almost could not believe my ears.
And moving forward in time, the dream of opening a SPEAK Barcelona did come true. Our first courses will start this July! Which means that if you are in Barcelona do not shy away from doing something different this summer. Enroll yourself in one of our many intensive groups of language learning and culture sharing!
Groups of English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Catalan are held at RAI – Carrer dels Carders, 12. The groups meet all Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 20:00 to 21:30. Check our new page here.
You can also help others learn your language and culture at SPEAK, see here our post about being a buddy!