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Study Abroad in Florence or Barcelona?
klmarch's profile picture
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Hey there,

I’m tied between a program in Florence or a program in Barcelona? Thoughts on Spain and Italy? I plan on traveling both thoroughly anyway, along with the rest of Europe. Just looking for some advice and tips on both, and any experiences you had!! Thanks!

I am leaving from chicago, illinois with $2000 for 44 days
Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Gdańsk, Warsaw, Wrocław, Brno
I am leaving from Chicago, IL, USA with $3000 for 207 days
Barcelona, Athens, Thessaloniki, Split, Rjeka, Zagreb, Budapest, Prešov, Kraków, Wrocław, Warsaw, Gdańsk, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Berlin, Nuremberg, Munich, Prague, Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, Augsburg, Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Southampton, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Galway, Dublin
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
mim's profile picture
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If it is an art history program and you’re into renaissance art, I would opt for Florence. If you want to party, enjoy some time on the beach, and would like to live in a slightly more alive city Barcelona might be for you

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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luv_the_beach's profile picture
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In addition to the differences mim brought up, the largest difference is this:

Barcelona is a big city. Florence is a quieter mid-size city.

A Barcelona-Florence comparison specifically is a much more accurate and much fairer way to look at it than Italy-vs-Spain.

You’re going to be living there for a few months, so if you have any preference on whether you’d like a mid-size city or a large bustling one, then you need to take this into consideration.

Another thing: is this a language program? Will you be studying the local language? If you’ve been studying, say, Italian for 4 years, wouldn’t Florence make more sense? If they’re making you start language-learning from scratch, which language are you most interested in? Italian? Or Spanish? (Barcelona is bilingual where a local regional language [Catalan] coexists with Spain’s national language [“Spanish”, but more accurately called Castilian especially in Catalonia).

You need to take these things into consideration as well.

As far as nightlife, Florence, like any proper South Euro city, will certainly be lively, especially as you approach the warmer months. But Barcelona is a bigger city, and will have more. But you won’t be disappointed by Florence.