Barcelona

Meet the Barcelona Staff!

First and foremost, welcome to the Barcelona Business & Language Programs blog, where you can follow along with the students’ adventures each day! The Barcelona staff is settling into the university residence and finishing preparations for this summer. Take a moment to get to know them:

Amani Starnes, Program Director

Amani is thrilled to return to the Summerfuel Barcelona team as Program Director. She is a Summerfuel veteran, having directed the Barcelona, Stanford, Columbia, and UC Berkeley programs in the past. She is currently an actress, writer, and singer in Los Angeles, as well as a Performance Studies PhD candidate at Stanford University. She has worked as an academic consultant and managed educational service companies in Los Angeles and Manhattan. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, eating delicious food, dancing, singing, making art, and checking out the latest art exhibits, performances, and concerts.

Elizabeth (Liz) Stallard, Activities Director

Liz is excited to return to Summerfuel Barcelona for her fourth summer. Before taking on the Activities Director role last summer, Liz worked as a Resident Advisor. She is also an alumni of the Spain Homestay Program and will be escorting the extension trip students to Conil in late July. This past year, Liz worked for a nonprofit organization in the NYC area. Previously, she taught English as a Second Language to elementary school-aged students in Northern Spain. Having studied in Barcelona as a college student, Liz knows Barcelona like the back of her hand and enjoys sharing the study abroad experience with Summerfuel students. Liz enjoys traveling, baking, drinking iced coffees, and discovering new hobbies (like her most recent hobby, lettering). Students who consider themselves “foodies” will enjoy picking Liz’s brain for the best restaurants and cafes in Barcelona!

Now an introduction from each of our Resident Advisors:

Pedro Alemán

¡Hola! I am Pedro Alemán and I am so excited to be part of the Barcelona Staff. I am from San Diego, California where I enjoy beautiful weather, palm trees, and of course In-N-Out! I moved to Rhode Island in New England to attend college at Providence College where I received two B.A.’s in Political Science and Sociology, and a minor in Black Studies in 2017. I then moved back to California where I attended the University of San Francisco and got an M.A. in International Studies with a concentration on Latin American Human Rights in December of 2018. My career goal is to become a diplomat and a university professor teaching Human Rights and Sociology while fighting against social injustices.  Traveling, soccer, cooking, going to the gym and beach, and enjoying the city are my favorite hobbies. Fun facts about me are that I studied abroad in Buenos Aires and Argentina, can speak three languages, and was an RA for three years. This will be my 3rd summer working for Summerfuel and my 2nd with our amazing director Amani!

Matt Alrutz

Hello! My name is Matt Alrutz. I’m from Philadelphia, and I recently graduated from Penn State with a BS in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Spanish. Over the years, I’ve come to love travel and exploration, and have been fortunate enough to stay in places from the UK to Greece and down to New Zealand. This will be my third extended stay in Spain. My first was as a Summerfuel student, doing a homestay in Cádiz, and my second visit was to study abroad in Madrid for the spring semester of my junior year in college. During those two trips, I found Spain to be an incredible place, rich with culture and history, along with an abundance of exciting activities and events throughout the country. I can’t wait to get back and experience everything Barcelona has to offer with the students!

Thanks for taking a moment to meet our staff! They look forward to welcoming the students to Barcelona in just a few days.

We hope you’ll follow along with the Barcelona programs’ adventures this summer by checking back to see photos and read stories of the students’ classes, activities, weekend trips, and more. ¡Hasta pronto!

An Inside Look at a Summer in Spain

There is something about Summerfuel that always has people coming back for more.

From staff members that have worked with Summerfuel for decades to students that return for a second or third summer in a row, once you experience a Summerfuel summer your life will never be the same.

A perfect example of someone falling in love with Summerfuel and making it a major part of their life is Summerfuel Andalusia alum, Elizabeth Stallard. Elizabeth attended Summerfuel’s Spanish Immersion Homestay program in Conil, Spain as a student in 2010. During her time as a Summerfuel student, Elizabeth fell in love with the culture and language of Spain. Consequently, she was inspired to return to Spain several times to study and work. Elizabeth even lived in Northern Spain for two years working as an elementary school ESL teacher.

It wasn’t long before she was drawn back to Summerfuel, and in 2016 Elizabeth joined Summerfuel Barcelona’s staff as a Resident Advisor. Elizabeth held this position for two summers before joining the Senior Staff and becoming the Activities Director in Barcelona.

Undoubtedly, Elizabeth has experienced all aspects of a summer spent in Spain.

From being a student in Conil to a Senior Staff team member in Barcelona, Elizabeth has seen it all. She has gone through the excitement and nervousness of leaving home to travel to a far-away place; knows what it is like to make new friends from around the world; has lived in the dorms, gone on excursions, eaten in the dining hall – the list goes on and on.

Join Elizabeth for a Free Webinar to hear what she has to say about Summerfuel in Spain. From housing and dining to activities and excursions, Elizabeth will talk about her first-hand experiences in Spain, giving you personal insight into life as a Summerfuel student.

Webinar: January 31st, 4PM EST

Click here to register today and get the inside scoop on life as a Summerfuel student!

Departure Day

 

For many of our Summerfuel students it was an early morning as we made our way to the airport and said our good-byes. The group flight has departed for JFK and we are only waiting for a few more students to head to the airport for their next adventures. Thank you to all the students for making these 3 weeks so memorable. Adios!

Day 10: Final day celebrations!

Our busy, last day started at ESADE where students took their final tests and presented their final projects. The Summerfuel staff was invited to sit in on the classes to see business presentations and we really enjoyed seeing what the groups had been working on. They did a great job! Our morning at ESADE wrapped up with a ceremony where students received certificates for completing their classes.

For lunch and afternoon activities, we had groups in many places. There was a residence group (packing and resting), a group in Plaza Cataluña (buying souvenirs and perhaps extra suitcases), and lastly a Sagrada Familia group. The small group who went to Sagrada Familia today had a blast with RA Chito. Chito got them audio guides with headsets and let the students take turns “giving the tour”. One student was particularly knowledgeable and impressed the group with her previous research about the famous basílica.

At 9 pm, we all sat down for our final dinner celebration at a restaurant in El Born. At each table setting, there was a card with a picture of the group. During the dinner, the students had a great time passing around their cards so their friends could write them messages. As we got on the bus to head back to the residence, some students started to cry! We’ve had three really fun and fast-paced weeks, jam-packed with classes, activities, weekend trips, and countless memories made along the way. We’ll be sad to see this awesome group leave us tomorrow morning.

Now we are back at the residence and the students are enjoying their last few hours of being all together. We’ve set up karaoke in the movie theater but some students have chosen to go to their rooms or hang out with the girls or boys on their respective hallways. Hopefully they’ll catch some Z’s on their flights tomorrow!

Day 19: Sagrada Familia (por fin)

Since tomorrow is the day students will present their final projects, today was the last day of classes. Students in the photography class, enjoyed their final photo excursion between Plaza Cataluña and the halls of the University of Barcelona, which is a beautiful, old building with tiled floors and quaint courtyards.

In the afternoon, the majority of the program had tickets to see the world-renowned Sagrada Familia (finally!). Tomorrow, another small group of 13 students will also have the chance to go before the final dinner! Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia is still a work in process. In fact, the price of each ticket goes towards the construction of the final towers. It is said that Sagrada Familia will be finished in the year 2026 which will be 144 years after the first stone was laid. We hope the students will return to Barcelona in the future and have the opportunity to see the finished product, as we are sure it will be awe-inspiring.

Two smaller groups, one who enjoyed free time in the city center and the other which rested and packed their suitcases at the residence, were able to meet up with their friends for dinner around the Sagrada Familia to see it lit up at night! Buenas noches, bona nit, goodnight.

 

Day 18: An afternoon of art

Our last week in Barcelona is flying by! Today was the students’ last Wednesday of classes and for the cooking students it was also the last cooking workshop of the program. On the menu today was tortilla española (Spanish omelette), albóndigas (meatballs), calamares (fried calamari), and crema catalana (a typical Spanish dessert). We certainly hope some of the students will share these recipes with all of you! Gastronomy is a great way of learning more about Spain and its culture.

In the afternoon, many students visited the Miró Foundation, a museum dedicated to Spanish artist Joan Miró. At the Miró museum, highlights included learning about the logo Miró designed for the 1992 Olympic Games, seeing a fountain made with liquid mercury (which is now behind glass for safety reasons), and exploring the gift shops!

On the coast of Barcelona, a handful of students enjoyed their last day of beach this afternoon. They went to Nova Icaria, a beach that is popular with locals situated nearby to the Olympic Port.

After dinner at the residence, RA Lisa will offer a special one-time activity to make a homemade souvenir from Barcelona. With Barcelona maps, stamps, markers, and more, students will have the opportunity to design a decoration to bring home as a reminder of their trip. That’s all from Barcelona today!

Day 17: Montjuic, Museums, and Malls

Hello from Barcelona! After a pretty routine Tuesday morning at ESADE, the photography students had their second opportunity to explore the city with our guest photography teacher, Samantha. Samantha picked up the students in a classic car (a convertible we might add) and took them to two exciting locations to take photos: Montjuic and Sagrada Familia. Safe to say these students will be missing their photo class after the trip. Every day with Samantha is a blast!

At 5 pm, the photography students returned to ESADE to meet up with the others. From there, a group set off for MNAC (the Catalan art museum) and another group headed to the mall. As we’ve mentioned before, July in Barcelona is a great time to shop since all of the stores are on sale! Many students have requested more shopping time so today at L’Illa mall was their opportunity to shop, shop, shop ’til they drop. Across town at the museum, the other group of students learned about Catalan artists and different ages of art throughout the region’s history. The boys also took in the stunning architecture of MNAC, which was built as a palace for the royals to accept various international guests during the world exhibition of 1929.

That’s all from Barcelona. See you back here tomorrow!

 

Day 16: Trying Tapas

 

Today was the students’ last Monday at ESADE and they have been working hard to prepare final projects and presentations that are due on Friday. Just a few more days until classes wrap up!

It was also our last RA lunch today. Since the start of the program, we’ve organized lunches with the Resident Advisors so students can ask questions, get advice on their classes or navigating the city, get to know the other students in their group, etc. Our final RA lunch took place today in Gràcia, the same neighborhood where some of the students chose to spend their afternoon free time.

 

 


Those students who did not choose free time went on a tapas tour through Gràcia. The group on the tapas tour enjoyed the opportunity to try local foods such as butifarra (Spanish sausage), jamón ibérico, jamón serrano, chocolate alla catalana with melindros (a dessert like ladyfingers) and gelato. YUM!

 


After a busy afternoon in the city center, the students returned to the residence for a hearty dinner, some billiards, cardgames and hanging out. More updates coming your way tomorrow. Buenas noches.