Written by:Students
Date posted:December 20, 2007
Posted in:Home / Locations / Spain / Barcelona / Don’t Panic in Barcelona!

Don’t Panic in Barcelona!

I think it is about time that I tell you my genteel readers and loyal audience (yes I am talking to those two people actually reading this 🙂 ) about my living arrangements here in Barcelona. I, like many others here, am sharing a flat. We are four of us at the moment with two Spanish girls who work, a French girl who is currently learning Spanish and wants to soon start a semester at a university in Barcelona and myself.

Luckily the French girl speaks very good German, so that makes my life easier. One of the Spanish girls does not speak any English, the French girl is only a beginner in Spanish and my reading is much better than my understanding, but with six languages between the four of us (Spanish, English, Bask, Catalan, French, German and a few words of Arabic and Italian thrown in) and a bit of arm waving and miming we manage to communicate surprisingly well! I might not start discussing astrophysics with the girls anytime soon, but then when does this ever come up in casual conversation with native German speakers?

Admittedly I was a bit sceptical about the idea of flat sharing. When I first started university I was also sharing a flat and it was a disaster. I might not be the worlds’ tidiest person but I can at least keep my mess to my space / room. Not the case with my flatmates (all of them male). Back then I was greeted by mountains of rubbish and semi-sentient life in the fridge.

With that in mind I must say the flat here has so far been a very pleasant surprise. Not only are my flatmates nice, clean, tidy and helpful (explaining where to find things etc.) but the flat itself is good as well. We have a kitchen with a washing machine (what a luxury), the bathroom (with a bath tub), the four bedrooms and a living / dining room. Attached to this dining room is the flats’ best feature – a balcony overlooking a large part of the city. We are on the eighth floor and you can see the Sagrada Familia, the Torre Agbar and the sea.

The point or points I am rambling on about are the following: It will be okay! If you, like me, tend to worry about all the things that could go wrong, then stop.

Neither did I get lost, nor did the flat turn out to be dreadful. And don’t hesitate to use a foreign language. You might not be perfect, but let’s be honest; most of us manage to mangle our mother tongue fairly regularly. Most people will be delighted that you are at least trying and you know what they say: practice makes perfect.

So pack your bags and go! Maybe even to Barcelona. 🙂



  1. Chloe

    Hi Katherine! I’m off to Barcelona in a few months and couldn’t agree more with flat sharing. It is a great way to practice the language and the international environment makes it all the more interesting and enriching! I hope that my housemates will be as tidy as yours 😉

    Posted December 21, 2007 at 11:13 am
  2. Zoey

    I agree too! It can be daunting, but all my flat shares have worked out wonderfully and it doesn’t take long before it starts to feel like home. Its also a fab way to meet people, in a flat share there is never any chance to feel lonely there is always a friendly face around or someone willing to join you for a bite to eat or a drink – it’s like having a ready-made set of friends on your doorstep! 🙂

    Posted December 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm
  3. Katherine

    Yeah especially my one Spanish flatmates is extremely tidy. Even goes as far as starting to wash your dishes while you are having desert in the other room. I find that a bit strange, but I won´t complain, she has after all never complained that the rest of us are not that obsessed with cleanliness.

    Unfortunatelly as all of us have diferent work / university timetables we don´t see that much of each other, so the language practise aspect is somewhat limited.

    Posted December 27, 2007 at 1:15 pm
  4. Jeffrey

    Hello Katherine! I visited Barcelona about two years ago when I was living/studying in Granada my junior year in college. I had so much fun there…definitely a city I could see myself living/studying/working in.

    After reading your post I had to say that it reminded me so much of the movie “L’auberge espagnole.” If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it as a person who is living such a wonderful international experience in Barcelona. Hope your New Year is starting off fantastically 🙂

    Posted January 8, 2008 at 9:21 pm

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