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A Peek Into Academic Life in Barcelona, Spain

By Patty Gannon '23 (Spain, SAI Barcelona, Fall 2021)

detail of a bench in Park Guell, Barcelona

Photo credit: Patty Gannon '23 (Spain, SAI Barcelona, fall 2021)

I studied at University of Pompeu Fabra with SAI Barcelona [a petition program] for my Junior Fall semester. I was in a class at UPF that is called The Collectivity Revolution. The class is filled with students from Spain, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. As I was wrapping up this course, I figured it would be informative to future students to share my experience.

The syllabus states: "The course in all, will underpin examples of COLLECTIVE initiatives and organizational trends occurring in the context of an ultra-highly CONNECTED global society, that can no longer solve the challenges of the 21ST Century through singled-out efforts, or based solely on "individual" strengths and values." The holistic approach to this course allowed each day we met in person to discuss a new and exciting topic about our collective and connected world. Aside from the course content, my favorite part was the dynamic of the class setting. At the beginning of this course, we were randomly assigned to groups. We were assigned a team presentation that consisted of collaborating about any social movement or organization that works towards furthering collectivity in any aspect of our society. My group decided to present the importance of the Murder and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls movement. The topic was relevant to today with the discussion of the “missing white woman syndrome” and how both the media and federal/state governments lack support for the indigenous communities in the United States. These presentations demonstrated that although we are a very globalized and collective world today, we still have a long way to go.

My take away of this course was to sit among a wide range of people from different backgrounds and varying perspectives to discuss the global challenges of today and the collective responsibilities we hold. Our professor pushed us to challenge today's social norms and question the best way to have a collective world. The syllabus allowed us to branch in any direction we wished. For both of our projects, the team presentation and the final paper, we got to choose our topic depending on our passions and opinions on furthering globalization through society, economics, and technology. 



2 students eating ice cream
Label: Patty Gannon '23 (SAI Barcelona, Spain, Fall 2021)

Patty (right) and a friend enjoy a cool snack during a tour of their temporary home town, Barcelona, organized by their study abroad program. 

Photo credit: SAI Programs