Dispatch from study-abroad

Eight ways winter quarter is different in Barcelona:

1. The Reg may look like a fortress, but the library at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra is in a recycled citadel.

2. The first final—for the course Civilization in the Western Mediterranean: Barcelona, section Iberia: Ancient and Late Antique—falls in the middle of third week.

3. The UPF classrooms have no clocks—a good thing when class begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m.

4. On Monday the class discussed the Roman amphitheater at Tarraco (modern-day Tarragona). On Tuesday they were sitting in the stands' remains.

5. Dorm rooms are in the Hotel Atlantis, breakfast included, but no cooking allowed in the rooms.

6. The nearest laundromat is a ten-minute walk from the hotel. To wash and dry one load costs €6, or $8.

7. Instead of cell phones, the students have digital cameras glued to their hands.

8. Even with global warming, there are still no palm trees in the quads.


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Photos (row 1, left to right): Chicago students Neil Lutz, Melissa Thomasma, Inez Jones, and Nicole Sindy chat at a Barcelona plaça off La Ramblas; Classics lecturer Lee Behnke leads the Iberia: Ancient and Late Antique course at Universitat Pompeu Fabra—no clocks in the classroom; Chicago students study at the recycled-citadel UPF library.

(row 2, left to right): At the laundromat, Emerald Gao counts her euros while Kira Bennett looks on; Greta Honold (in blue scarf) and Melissa Thomasma grab breakfast at the Hotel Atlantis; After Monday's lesson on the Roman army in Spain, on Tuesday the class traveled to Tarragona, known as Tarraco when it was a Roman imperial city and Iberian outpost, to see the amphitheater's remains.

Photos by Dan Dry.

January 19, 2007