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University of Missouri

Blissful Barcelona

Filed in Blog, Spain by on March 25, 2019
by Olutoyin J.

I’m a sophomore at Mizzou, and I am currently participating in a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain. In January, I started attending CETT – Campus de Turisme, Hoteleria, y Gastronomia (Campus of Tourism, Hospitality, and Gastronomy). The school is affiliated with the University of Barcelona. This semester, I am participating in their gastronomy program studying a curriculum surrounding food culture in the Mediterranean. I have been here for just over eight weeks and am slightly over half done with my experience abroad.

Student in standing on an overlook of Barcelona and the mountains behind the city.


Over the past few weeks I was able to spend some time getting to know Barcelona better and it has been such an amazing and reflective time for me. Being abroad teaches you a lot about yourself and teaches you things that you didn’t even know you needed to learn. I think coming to Spain was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made – I’ve been thinking about how different my experience would’ve been if I went to my second study abroad choice, which was London. London is kind of a second home for me since I have so much family there. It would’ve been easy for me being there. It’s an English-speaking country, I am more familiar with the city than I am with any other European city and I could go to a relative’s house at a moments notice. But the most growth usually comes from being in uncomfortable places. And to be honest, when I first got here I was super uncomfortable and felt very much like an alien in this foreign land. My adaptation skills were tested, but as time has passed Barcelona has really grown to be a place I truly enjoy.

A large brown and red-stone arch in the middle of a plaza surround by people.

Arc de Triomf

The time has gone by so fast and I’m shocked that in less than two months I’ll be back in the States. Crazy. Like I said, I have loved staying the past few weekends in Barcelona and have been able to check a lot of places to visit off of my list. Here’s some of the places I’ve checked out: the Bunkers of Carmel, the Arc de Triomf and Parc Citudella, Barcelona Cathedral, the Barceloneta (the beach!) and Sitges (a beach town close by where I went for Carnival). Barcelona is such a beautiful city and I’m so glad I’ve gotten to experience so much of it. Classes have still been going super great, and I’ve learned so much about food and culture in Spain, but more importantly, my perspective about the global food culture in Spain has increased so much and I’ve been able to see how the U.S. compares to other countries. While being abroad, I haven’t worked out once (due to not having time because I’m really active at home). I eat pretty healthy and walk everywhere I can and surprisingly have probably lost about 15 pounds, which boggles my mind. The quality of food here and how fresh and non-GMO it is doesn’t compare to the States by a long shot, and I think eating this food and partly the walking is why I have lost the weight. And most people I’ve seen in Europe are quite fit. I think as Americans, if we had European quality produce, I believe it would seriously change the food industry as we know it. Thanks for reading, stay tuned to see where I go next! Ciao!

A wide-shot of Barcelona and the coastline behind it.




About the blogger

Olutoyin J. is studying abroad on the SAI Programs: CETT Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy program in Manchester, United Kingdom.

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