Exactly a month since I left Barcelona, I have the chance to deeply reflect on my time spent at the local elementary school during my amazing study abroad semester! Located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona lies the oldest elementary school in this incredible city by the name of Escola Baixeras. Inside this beautiful and freeing environment, children from first to sixth grade learn all subjects at their own pace, often with one to one support from teachers and mentors, and experience a very alive & emotionally in-tuned environment. Witnessing this educational system first hand, and even being a part of it for eight weeks was something I have never experienced before. While my elementary school was extremely different in many senses, I felt the supportive and loving atmosphere that was so inspiring for the children, but also for me.
I admire and respect the work the faculty is able to create and do daily amidst being a public school. I joined the loud but passionate second grade class every Thursday for one hour and a half. During my time in class, I assisted the wonderful English teacher named Carla from Peru. She was very kind and always made sure we were on the same page, and let me choose activities that related to the lesson plan that day. Time always flew by quickly especially when doing fun things, which was all the time! We read books, danced to songs, made lots and lots of art pieces (drawings, snowmans, bookmarks). I one-hundred percent feel blessed that I chose to be involved in the local community of Barcelona. I helped with English, but they helped my transition into a foreign country greatly. It was hard to say goodbye to my kids, I’ll never forget their laughs and smiles. Baixeras is a beautiful place to learn and to be a kid. This world needs more of that and I am grateful to have been a small part of it.
Written by: Laura, Fall 2023 Barcelona student from University of South Carolina