In this blog series, BFA student Kassi Ferry shares an authentic look at her study abroad experience in Brighton, England, during the Spring 2017 semester.
One perk of being in Europe is that it's pretty easy to travel to other countries. Because of this, the University of Brighton gave us the opportunity to go on a trip to Barcelona, Spain, in order to go on studio visits as well as to explore the city. And I was ecstatic!
On the day we left we woke up at 3:00 a.m.(!) to board a bus and then a plane and flew down to Barcelona. Once there we checked into our hostel, quickly unloaded our bags in our assigned rooms, and then headed out to explore the city a little. My flatmates and I found a cute little tapas restaurant for lunch before we returned to the hostel to meet up with our studio visit groups.
Gaudi's La Pedrera
Over the course of three days, we toured several awesome studios and met with local designers and artists. First up was O-studio, a motion graphics design company that has a neat little space with about eight people working. Next was Ivan Bravo's studio house, an illustrator, who was really sweet and spent two hours talking with us about some amazing projects he has done. Then there was Vasava studio, which has a pretty famous client list, including Nike. And finally on Friday we went to Hey Studio, which specializes in posters, invites, book layouts and other stationery items. And then Lo Siento Studios, a company that specializes in hand-created type and packaging.
After that whirlwind of studio visits, we were able to run free around Barcelona for the weekend! Or at least as far as our train passes would take us.
On Friday afternoon we traveled over to the Gothic area, the older section of the city, where we ate tapas and drank sangria. We wandered around the alleyways admiring the architecture and made our way over to the Ramblas Open Market. The market was very busy and it was hard to walk around but it was really neat to see all of the tropical fruit and Spanish cuisine.
The beautiful beach with its African-imported sand
Saturday morning my friends and I went out to brunch and then to the Picasso museum. Which was absolutely amazing!!! I didn’t realize how talented he was at such a young age. We stopped at the Spanish-based clothing store Zara, because Nicole found out I had never been, so of course I got a new scarf and jacket. Our group ended up in La Coba for dinner, where we ate at a small Mexican restaurant. We split a mango, pineapple, and peach smoothie and I had my go-to chips and guac. Sunday we went to see the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral, which began construction in 1882 and is still not completed! Since it is such an amazing site it was packed with tourists and we couldn’t even buy tickets because it was sold out. But just walking around outside of it was still jaw-dropping. Our group traveled to the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona or CCCB museum where we somehow ended up in a sexuality architecture exhibition . . . not exactly sure how we got there but we had some good laughs. We ended the day by visiting Gaudi Park, which is amazing, and the view from the top of the park is totally worth the hike up the hill, and then having a sushi dinner.
On our last day we needed to be checked out by 10:30 a.m. and meet back at the hostel by 4:30 p.m. So in order to make the most of the sunny day, we decided to visit the beach. Which we learned—from a lovely lady from Florida whom we befriended—wasn’t native to Spain. Apparently the sand was imported from Africa and the palm trees were imported from Florida and LA. The beach was super warm so after spending a while there we went on a desperate search for ice cream and found a cute little gelato place. The pier was extremely beautiful to walk up and down and we found a quaint little paella restaurant nearby that we ate late lunch at. Realizing we didn’t have much time left we said goodbye to Sabrina (the Florida lady) and headed back to the hostel. Well, after stopping down the street for one last Spanish churro, that is!
The plane ride home seemed to take forever, and the bus ride back to Brighton seemed to take even longer, but I finally made it to my flat at 1:00 a.m. It was such an amazing experience and I can’t wait to go back!
Kassi's Study Abroad Blog Posts