Borja Diaz-Roig, ESADE Business School (Spain)

About School

I’m from Barcelona, which is one of the main cities of Spain. The capital in Spain is Madrid. I study in ESADE Business school which is located near Barcelona city.

Spanish schools are very different as compared to Singapore. Our school life is not as happening as compared to NUS where you have a campus residences or student activities. Our school is not as big as NUS. Our campus only has studying facilities and a residence which is only for people who do not stay in Barcelona but from other parts of Spain. Most of time, we just head to school to study and then head home or hang out with our friends. There are student related clubs though, they are more academic-based, like a consulting group. We do not have activities like basketball. Back in Barcelona, maybe they have one team of soccer, but it is not organized by the university. Hence, they are not provided with sport facilities or anything else. We do not really have a lot of space to build these facilities in schools.

I’m studying business administration with the concentration in management. In general management, we do not have a specific concentration in marketing or finance. In Barcelona, we generally don’t have concentrations. We study a little of everything – finance, marketing and HR. We are provided with elective courses though, so you can choose what you would like to study more in. For example, if you want finance, you can take up electives that focus on finance subjects.

About the Culture

In Barcelona, the culture is very dynamic and direct in a relationship way, I would say. When you meet someone, you get to hold conversations with them very well. If you meet someone, let’s say on the train, when you arrive at your destination, you might grab a coffee together. However, over here people its slightly harder to talk to, so I guess it is more distant.

In Barcelona, we also we do a lot of activities outside due to the good weather. People tend to spend more time outside doing sports and outdoor activities. Barcelona is also rich in history with a lot of monuments. As compared to Singapore, you can find many old buildings with a long history and tradition behind it. On the other hand, Barcelona do not have many high-rise buildings like Singapore.

About Food

Food is very important for the Spanish as it is a big part of our culture. We have Mediterranean food as we are located in Mediterranean. The food very healthy as there is no additional flavors or sauces. Everything is natural. Only olive oil is used and, in that sense, the food is very fresh. Salad is a very important part of our meal. Apart from the appetizers and the main meal, we will always have salad.

Food that you must try would be Paella, which is rice with seafood, meat and vegetables. There are many different types, but this is the classic one. You could also try Gazpacho which is tomato soup with other vegetables. Usually, we will drink this soup in summer. Another dish is Croquetas de Jamon, its like a Spanish croquette, which is made from chicken or ham. Most of the times, we will have this dish as tapas. When we go out with friends, we usually have it with other small dishes. Instead of eating it while sitting down, we usually stand up and eat it like we are in a bar.

About Attractions

The Sagrada Familia, is a very important church in Barcelona. It is still under construction though, because it is only constructed by the donations made by the people to the church. It is an iconic place where many tourists go. There is the Parc Guell, where it is a park that has unique architectures created by a famous architect. You can go to Tibidabo, a mountain in Barcelona. There is a church and amusement park located there. You can also see the skyline of Barcelona.

Barceloneta is the main beach of Barcelona. Other than the beach, you could also go to the bars or clubs. If you want something more traditional, you can walk around Plaza Catalunya which is in the central of the city or the Barrio Gotico which is the gothic/ancient part of Barcelona. Although Barcelona is not very big, there are a lot of place that you can visit due to the rich history the city has. Moreover, Barcelona is one of the city with a long history as it is located in Catalonia, a region in Spain. This region has their own language, culture and tradition. In Catalonia, we speak both Catalan and Spanish. Sometimes we even mix the two languages together.

About Transportation

In Barcelona, we use both bus and train. It is easy to travel around especially in Barcelona and Madrid as we are the bigger cities where it is very connected between places due to the train. In other cities, they use the uses more. There are no Uber as well, so we use taxis more.

The transportation is very expensive in Barcelona. We pay about 2 to 2.50 Euros for a train ride. In addition, the prices are increasing almost every year. It is very expensive as compared to Singapore. We do have something similar to the Ez-link card, but one ride is still expensive.

NUS Bizad Club
NUS Bizad Club

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