This is the post excerpt.


The long and short of it is, I went on an Erasmus to Barcelona last year. It was the most amazing experience ever and I have extreme post Erasmus blues (hence the blog). So please take a further peek if you’re interested in hearing about me leave beloved Ireland, meet some funky friends, survive Ibiza, manage to win over a wee Spanish boys heart, and finally about how I made it home with 57kg on an allowance of 30kg.

With much excitement,

Elise x



Returning to G-town, AKA home

As much as I LOVED living abroad for the year, being away made coming home that EXTRA bit special!!!

In the first semester, I only came home once, and that was for Christmas. This was extremely exciting as anyone who knows me will know that there are two occasions that my year revolves around, Christmas and my birthday. I had the bags packed a week before my flight and I arrived at the airport approx 6 hours prior to my flight. I also ended up buying not only one flight home but two, the bank account loved that.

The actual flight home was a treat as I was in the middle seat. To my left was a chap TERRIFIED of flying and felt sick every time the plane moved, which ironically was the whole flight. But the delight to my right was where it was all happening, loaded with about sixteen pints and FULL of chat and sing songs. I can safely say he was more buzzin’ to touch down in Ireland than I was; I picked up on this after about the 17th time he told me. Great man all the same, he even managed to do all his Christmas shopping in duty free, absolutely SMASHED.

On top of these few hiccups, I then flew back to Barcelona in January two weeks too early because I read my academic timetable wrong, but sure look.

Jeepers’, even writing about all these Christmas antics has me BUZZED for the this year’s celebrations.

Me eager? Never:


Now, moving on from Christmas, if you want to get into your Mother’s good books for the year, then fly home and surprise her for Mother’s Day. It works a treat. Although, when you’ve a wizard of a mum who doesn’t miss a trick, who you also talk to everyday, it makes getting from Barcelona to Dublin to Galway that little bit trickier to hide. Her reaction though – priceless.

Snapshot of the surprise reaction video (sorry about the quality):


I then came home for Easter; this was obvs super as I drowned myself in Easter eggs.

Easter bonnet buzz:


Then about 2 months later, my year abroad was wrapped up and I had to venture back to Ireland in July – I spoke about the many disasters that came with this in my blog before last. (Worth giving it a little nosy).


The day to day life of earning some bean in Barcelona

Day to day life in Barcelona was a dream. Each day was jam packed with swimming, siestas and snacks.

For me, in Semester one, I didn’t really have a routine as each day varied. It was incredibly hot for the first few months that I was there, which meant I was at the beach for I’d say 70% of the week. Rough, I know.

Example A:


Me sailing through my coursework:


After Christmas, when Semester two started up I decided to try and grab a job. I was looking for something that could help improve my Spanish. The fact that I had more connections at this stage of my year abroad helped me on my quest to find a job. As I’ve worked with children in the past I thought it would be handy enough if I could find a family who needed a native English speaker to help teach their children.

It’s amazing how just having English can make you feel like a celeb, as to this day I still get emails replying to my ad that I launched online, asking me if I’m available for work.

Not only did I suss out one job but instead grabbed two, which was ideal. I worked Monday-Wednesday with a family who lived within walking distance from me. I had to pick up their little boy, Dídac, from school and swimming each day, and can I just say that, that boy was 3 years old and 100% more capable than what I was at like 12. At first, he defo hated me, but I was determined to win him over – the 2 hour trips to the park and me constantly making a show of myself in front of him may have had something to do with me achieving my goal… (He even sent me a video saying he missed me after I left)

A little masterpiece that was a result of hard work, patience and time:


On a Thursday, I minded two little children, Inigo, 4 and Cristina, 7. This family hired me for the opposite reason to the other family, as I wasn’t allowed to make the children aware that I had any Spanish as they were excellent at English but the goal was for them to get more confident at speaking it. (To be honest, their English was nearly better than mine).  Not going to lie, work wasn’t always easy as some days we had to go downstairs to their apartment’s reception and play foosball.

All in all, work was so soft, as I could still pack in loads of activities before and after work but most of all the families were extremely good to me.

Me during Erasmus year VS me during final year:



Getting away from the year away

Now for the more exciting part, the well deserved holidays (because you know, life was tough living the dream in 30 degrees for 10 months).

I was lucky enough to be able to visit lots of amazing places and tick a few off the bucket list, so sit tight.

The first stop was Berlin, in December: All I can say about Berlin is that I would 100% recommend you to bring ten times the amount of warm clothes you think you need.

Here is us checking out check point Charlie:


Rome: Well isn’t Rome lovely. I can safely say I had enough pizza for every Roman in town.

Here is us having some giggles at the Colosseum: 


Sitges: I absolutely loved Sitges, it’s so colourful and beautiful. You wouldn’t get quite as many naked sights on Salthill beach in Galway, that’s for sure.

Tarragona: We went to Port Aventura, need I say more?

A great quality pic of Shauna and I pretending to pass out on the ride:


Girona: No beach, but they throw an excellent flower festival called ‘Temps de Flors’ – worth a trip.

Ibiza:  THE BEST. I’ve never had as many many giggles, grenadine, or onion bhajis as I did in those four days. (RIP Amy’s white jeans). But a huge shout out to the greatest Indian restaurant I’ve ever been to – https://www.facebook.com/TheCurryClubIbiza/

Kitted out:


Valencia-Seville-Faro-Lagos-Dublin: Well sure didn’t this genius trip of ‘travelling’ start off with us missing the bus from Barcelona to Valencia. Six hours and €130 later we were on the bus to Valencia. (Having completely lost out on one of our two days there, SUPER).

This trip was at the end of my Erasmus, so like most people I had tonnes of belongings with me, with our internal flight from Valencia to Seville approaching, I decided to pack up and make sure I was within the 30kg baggage allowance. Yep, so I was sitting on 57kg, none of which I was sacrificing. We arrive at the airport absolutely bricking it but somehow manage to wing it, keeping a straight face was defo not the easiest.

So we arrive in sunny Seville for our 5 hour stopover before another exciting bus journey getting us into Portugal. (We were staying in Lagos, but had bus tickets only as far Faro, shock? I think not). We hop on the bus, and it was either try purchase last minute tickets for the extra leg of the journey and risk being refused or pretend to be asleep at each bus stop along the way, so we obvs picked option two.

Here we are trying to map out how exactly we made so many travelling disasters:


After this, it was the home straight to Dublin Airport, Ireland.

Tune into my next blog which we will be all about day to day life in Barcelona x

The buzz of college life

If you want to hear about some of the mad differences I experienced between my college life in small town Maynooth and big style Barca, give this a wee read.

So one of the first and biggest shocks to the system was that 8AM and 8PM lectures were a thing, they weren’t really ideal if I’m being honest. Secondly, whispering in class funnily enough wasn’t something very common, full blown conversations were more how it rolled, to the point where I took it upon myself to start sitting in the front row (go me).  Thirdly, in some modules, the pass rate was 60 percent – finding that out was a giggle and a half. Oh and lastly, good luck to you if you can’t do presentations in front of a massive class, because holy moly, I had to do one every five minutes.

Aside from these few little bumps, college life in UB was savage. The people I met were so amazing, whether they were the professors or the students. There were so many different backgrounds from all over the world and I was exposed to all types of new learning methods. All of my classes were very small and personal rather than huge lecture halls, which made a huge difference.

UB is a huge university, and they have their different faculties spread out all over Barcelona. This is much different to Maynooth, as here everything is on one campus.

Fortunately, I was allowed to pick all of my modules as opposed to just some. This meant I could choose from an array of funky new classes. Another absolute winner for me was that the college canteen sold alcohol and delish pastries, pretty unreal to say the least.

The thing I LOVED the most about UB was the massive relaxed and laid back approach to everything, especially exams. I found that it actually helped me do a lot better with regards my results, as you weren’t stressed to the max and had such a chill approach. Well to be honest, the whole year was just one big huge ‘chill’.

Sure here’s me flat out studying,


Galway girl takes on Spain

So folks, it all began in the second week of secondary school when we were allowed test out German, French and Spanish before we chose one. It was approximately when Mr.Bennett taught me ‘hola’ when I decided I was going to do an Erasmus.

Fast forward 6 years, to when I used the library printers like there was no tomorrow printing all the documentation and signing them a million times to thankfully be accepted into Universitat de Barcelona – (purpose of going: solely to become fluent in Spanish.)

Fast forward again, about 5 months (15 days before I jet off) to when I was sorting out my timetable for the next 10 months. This was the moment when it clicked with me that Catalan is in fact a TOTALLY different language to Spanish. Catalan funnily enough being the native language of Barcelona. (TOP TIP: do some research into the city you’re choosing to live in BEFORE confirming anything).

So that was a bit of a pickle but sure look, our flights were booked and it was starting to feel real. (‘Our’ referring to my granny’s, my mams, and mine – those two will take any opportunity for even a sniff of the sun).

So after milking about 4 going away parties, September 6th was upon us. It wasn’t just a big day because I had to say goodbye to Purds (you’ll hear a lot about her – she’s not only an internet sensation in Galway https://www.instagram.com/myshopgrannylikesit/?hl=en but also my pet dog, how cool) but also because 3 gals from the wesht were heading East of the Shannon to the big big Airport (Dublin). Greeted me at departures was a surprise visit from my Dad and Uncle Dee, tears galore.

Here is a cute pic of us all with our Maccer’s coffees:


The first lot of soppy goodbyes were over the second we got air plane snacks, possibly the best bit about flying. Oh and not forgetting that I got window seat, BOOM.

So, after a few days of exploring and settling in, my granny and mam had to fly home. This was the most bizarre feeling ever, as I had a few days before college started so I was just chilling in my new house, in a new country, with zero new mates….

Oh and I nearly forgot, here is me and Purds saying our goodbyes:


Tune into my next blog to find out if I was Billy no mates or not…..

Hasta luego xxxx