Stereotypes about Catalonia - “Barcelona is the capital of Erasmus”, affirms Berlin resident Andreas

Laia Fàbregas, a Barcelona born writer, says: “Barcelona is much more than that. There are a lot of tourists and different types of people that enjoy living here”.

CNA / María Fernández / Neus Pérez

November 25, 2010 11:13 PM

Berlin / Barcelona (ACN).- “Barcelona has everything to make the most out of an Erasmus experience: adventure, fun, it’s a city open to the world,” says 23-year-old Andreas Graf. Graf is a resident of Berlin, where he studies International Relations. For him, “Barcelona is the capital of Erasmus”. He knows many Germans that have studied in Barcelona, as well as many Catalans that study in Berlin. One of his favourite films is 'L'auberge espagnole', a story about a French student who does his Erasmus in Barcelona. But for the young writer Laia Fàbregas, “Barcelona is much more than that, there are a lot of tourists and different types of people that enjoy living here”.

‘L'auberge espagnole' (The Spanish Apartment) follows postgraduate economics student Xavier and his Erasmus in Barcelona. Throughout the film, Xavier shares his life with other students from all over Europe. At 23 years old, Andreas hopes to live a similar experience in the Catalan capital. He believes that Barcelona is a city of adventure, fun and open-mindedness.

Graf studies International Relations in Berlin and has many friends that have studied their Erasmus in Barcelona. He has also met many Barcelona students who study in Berlin. For this reason, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Barcelona is the Erasmus experience.

Barcelona’s richness does not end with Erasmus

Laia Fàbregas (Barcelona, 1973) studied her Erasmus in Utrecht, Holland in 1997 for the final year of her fine arts studies. What was supposed to be a stay of 6 months turned into 12 and a half years. “Barcelona is a place where Erasmus students want to come. This is clear, but it’s not just that. There are other cities with many more students. When walking through Utrecht, which has 400,000 inhabitants, you see that half are students and a quarter of them are foreigners”, she explained.

The writer sees Barcelona as “much more” than just an attractive city for Erasmus students. “Here, when you walk through the streets, there are a lot of tourists and types of people from all over that enjoy Barcelona”. In fact, Laia has recently moved back to Barcelona’s Gràcia neighbourhood, although she still visits Holland. Fàbregas has published 'La nena dels nou dits' and 'La llista' through the Dutch publishing company Anthos. Both were written in Dutch and have been translated into Catalan.