This is the End

Well, we’ve reached the end of our Barcelona journey. All students have passed through security and are on their way home or onto other adventures (except for our evening departure).

On their last day at ESADE, students gave their final presentations and said goodbye to their professors. We were really impressed with the detailed business plans that they came up with!

Last night, we enjoyed our final dinner together, where the students tried pimientos de Padrón for the first time. Statistics say that one in twenty is very spicy, but no one got a hot one!

It has been a true pleasure being able to see the students experience this city together. As a group, they’ve seen the modernist artistry of Gaudí and the musical artistry of Rihanna, explored monasteries and mountains, and hunted both clothing sales and rare Pokémon. They’ve made friendships that bridge oceans, cultures and, as they’ll soon discover, time zones. They haven’t been just living in Barcelona, but they’ve been living Barcelona.

And so, it’s adiós to another year of Summerfuel BCN. See you next year!

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All’s Güell That Ends Güell

Monday at Summerfuel was all about modern art, moda and mocha. Students headed to Las Ramblas, where they shopped, indulged with artisanal chocolates and sampled cheeses and fresh fruit at La Boquería.

Other students headed to MACBA, the contemporary art center of Barcelona. Afterwards, they explored El Raval, a hip neighborhood where they found Chök, a chocolate bakery that serves pistachio-mocha cronuts.

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Of course, we had a large group of Summerfuelers head to the beach as well!

Later, the students got more free time to enjoy dinner in the city before heading back to the residence.

On Tuesday, the business students had their exam for their afternoon course before heading out for one of their last Barcelona adventures.

A group went to Parc Güell, taking in the great panoramic views of the Mediterranean and appreciating Antoní Gaudí’s intricate mosaic work and architecture.

Another group explored El Born, with some students taking the opportunity to visit the Picasso museum as well.

On Wednesday, we had students out in the Gràcia neighborhood, as well as on Passeig de Gràcia. They visited Casa Batlló, went shopping and saw Finding Dory (in Spanish!). They returned to the residence to finish up final projects and continue the packing process.

Today is the last day in BCN, and the students are trying to do as much as they can before they leave! We’ll head to the beach and Plaça Catalunya so they can get some last minute sun and shopping in!

Weekend Warriors

On Saturday, the group headed out to Platja d’Aro, a small town on the Costa Brava. The air was cool, but the students enjoyed the fresh ocean breeze and a relaxing afternoon.

When we returned to the residence, it was time to get ready for our last Saturday night dinner at Port Olímpic! The students dressed up for a fancy evening and ate at oceanfront restaurants.

The next day, an amusement park was in the cards! This time, we went south down the coast to PortAventura to ride roller coasters, watch shows and enjoy the day in the sun! PortAventura boasts Shambhala, the tallest and fastest coaster in Europe, which was a big hit!

As far as the evenings go, poker night has become the most popular activity at the residence. Some of the games get pretty intense, as you can see here:

Poker Night

As we head into the fourth week of the program, we can’t believe how fast the month has gone! Only four more days of Barcelona until the students head home or onto different adventures!

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

On Friday, the students (and staff) got to sleep in a bit before our tour of Camp Nou, the FC Barcelona football stadium. The students got to shop in the FC Barcelona store, see the team’s trophies and visit the team locker rooms!

Meanwhile, RA Liz took a small group of students visited MNAC (the Catalán art museum) and Fundació Miró, a museum dedicated to the Catalán artist.

After the visits, we took shelter from our first rainstorm this month in Las Arenas, the old bullring that is now a shopping mall. The students decided to spend a relaxing evening in the residence watching films and playing poker with Quinton and Lily.

Live Your Life

Thursday was a big day for Summerfuel Barcelona students. At ESADE, the business students presented the projects they’ve been working on all summer for their entrepreneurship class, while the Spanish students worked on deciphering the meaning behind the lyrics of popular Spanish music.

After class, the cooking class headed to el Barri Gótic for their last class of the program, where they learned how to make tortilla española (Spanish omelette), albóndigas (meatballs) and crema catalana (crème brûlée with a lemony twist).

While other students headed to El Born in search of arepas, small cafés and winding streets, another  group went to Montjuïc to see Rihanna bring down the Palau Sant Jordi on her Anti World Tour. The Barbadian star sang all of her big hits, and it was a great experience for our students.

Exhausted, everyone headed back to the residence to rest up for their last ESADE excursion!

Born to be Wild

After class on Wednesday, the students headed to the Gràcia neighborhood to have lunch in their RA groups. Liz’s group went to Café Godot, a popular lunch spot with long wooden tables and delicious sandwiches and pastas. Lily’s group went to Macchina, where they could create their own pasta bowls and salads, while Quinton’s group went to Vigadi, a hip Spanish café that the students picked out on their own!

After lunch, the students headed to El Born neighborhood to discover new boutiques and cafés in the neighborhood. A small group also used the time in the neighborhood to attend the Picasso museum, which provides a comprehensive timeline of the artist’s life and work.

The sailing class once again headed out to sea, and raced an incoming storm back to the shore. This group has definitely earned their sailing stripes this summer!

For dinner, some students ate in the residence and then watched a film in the theatre while others headed to Avinguda de Gaudí to try the offerings there. Lily and Liz took a few adventurous students to try Nepalese food, which got rave reviews. They also got to check out the Sagrada Família and the Hospital Sant Pau lit up at night after dinner!

Today, the students finish up week three at ESADE and will see Rihanna in concert for her first appearance in Spain!

I’m On Tapa the World

Tuesday was another big class day for the students at ESADE. The business students worked on their MailChimp projects in class while the Spanish students played games in small groups to boost their conversational skills.

After class, some students went to Portal del l’Angel to go shopping, while the rest of the group headed out to explore Gràcia. A few of those students went on the Devour Barcelona Food Tour and discovered some new Spanish favorites: albóndigas (meatballs like your Spanish grandma used to make), escalivada (roasted vegetables with a romesco sauce), and the cremat: a pastry with the flavors of crème brûlée (but has its origins in Catalunya).

The students then returned to the residence, where they had dinner and attended Poker Night, hosted by RAs Quinton and Lily!

Ain’t No Montaña High Enough

On Sunday, we headed to a Sitges, a nearby beach town. The students rented paddleboats again and headed out onto the open ocean.

On Monday, the students got back in the school groove as they began their third week at ESADE. After class, Sarrià was the destination for lunch. The students dined on paninis, pizza, and the Spanish menú del día (which is becoming very popular among the group).

We then boarded a bus to visit Montserrat, a mountain about 50 km outside of Barcelona. The mountain is host to a monastery that dates back to the 15th century. On the bus, our tour guide Joanna gave the students a lot of information about the history of the monastery and the surrounding landscape.

On the mountain, some students went on a tour of the monastery, while others hiked or took the funicular up even higher to get a better view of the Catalán countryside. Many students also took the opportunity to participate in cheese and honey tastings at a farmer’s market. They left their Summerfuel mark on a rock on one of the highest points on the mountain before heading back to the residence.

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