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Cultural Events
Universitat de Barcelona
41.386608, 2.1640199999999368
Topic Ways to engage in the University of Barcelona

When a new student from abroad comes to the University of Barcelona, my main aim as a buddy is to help them to get involved in different activities in order to get to know more about the culture of our country. It is important to understand that the meaning of engagement is the opposite one to simple observation. Engagement means not only to comprehend differences between unlike cultures but also to participate in

 them as well as to manage possible uncertainty. Thus, my objective is that through the collaboration between buddies and incomers, there are more possibilities to achieve this engagement.

A clear example that could help foreigners to be integrated in traditional catalan activities is to take part of “la colla castellera” of the university itself. “Els castellers” or human towers is a catalan tradition which consists on constructing towers with real people – it can be considered a folk extreme sport. There is a team at the university which a lot of exchange students decide to join to feel the solidarity, supportive and team spirit essential to this catalan tradition. For more information visit: https://www.thelocal.es/20190729/els-castells-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-human-towers-of-catalonia.  

However, if you are not risk-taking sports person, another good option to explore more about the catalan culture is to find a way to reduce language barriers. Thus, international students can take Catalan courses offered by the university with a discount for them. Even if they speak Spanish or they consider they can be easily understood in English, it is always recommended to learn the language spoken in the region so they can take part of conversations between local people. Courses adapted to the short period of time exchange students spend in the country are offered in the following link: https://www.ub.edu/sl/en/fl/segonsem.html. Moreover, in the following link students can enrol to informal conversation sessions with local people: https://www.ub.edu/sl/borsa/

Finally, if they want to further practice the language, it will always be helpful to try to be in teams for class assignments formed by local students and not only by other exchange students. It is the best way in order to understand which is the work system in their new university for both the undergraduates and the teachers and find out the perfect balance between their own methodology and the local one.

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