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Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain


-How’s life in your host city?

Life in Barcelona has been great. The city offers such a diverse group of suburbs – from bars and restaurants in Gothic/Born, the small galleries in Raval and the parks and beaches in Ciutadella and Barceloneta. Each day you are likely to stumble across a new part of the city that you had not known existed. The city is constantly full of life, which makes it a very exciting place to live.

– What have you found most surprising about your new country/culture?

Although it wasn’t surprising due to the media coverage in Australia, I have found it very interesting to follow the debate that continues to surround Catalan independence. Every week there seems to be a new protest taking place in one of the city’s parks or plazas. It has also been great to chat with my Catalan classmates about their opinions on independence. The political climate has also made me more aware of Catalan culture and encouraged me to try and learn more than I otherwise might have done.

– Are you studying something really interesting or different to what you’ve done before?

In my first trimester, I studied a subject Contemporary Law, Dictatorships and Transitional Justice. The subject included a lot of content regarding Spanish history (i.e. Franco’s dictatorship) as well as some components of European colonial history and its implications. Learning about the Spanish dictatorship was particularly interesting, as I learnt that many of the laws created under the dictatorship continue to operate in Spain (i.e. during WW2 Franco changed Spanish time to align with their German allies – after the dictatorship the clocks were never changed back and this contributes to the ‘late-night’ culture in Spain). All-in-all, my university studies have given me a greater understanding of the Spanish/Catalan culture which has been great.

Charlie Oldham
Bachelor of Business/Law
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Barcelona, Spain

Autumn 2018 Global Exchange


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