Paul Kebker’22 is a double-degree seeker in the European Governance track and chose to study at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona for his second year of TAM (September 2021 – July 2022).
Paul writes: Living in Barcelona and studying at Pompeu Fabra has been an incredible experience for me. I’ve achieved a nice balance between academic life and social life. The coursework is challenging but manageable. The degree is “Research Masters in Political Science.” So, the course work primarily focuses on research methodologies, which complements the UNC degree.
My professors are experts in their research fields but are still approachable and offer help when needed. The degree requires each TAM student to take seven courses spread out over two trimesters. The third trimester is dedicated to writing your thesis. Each class session is 3 hours, one day per week. This scheduling is helpful because it provides opportunities to explore Barcelona during the week and travel throughout Spain and Europe on weekends. Also, the campus library building is stunning and perhaps the best place to read and study.
The university campus is in the city’s heart, next to Parc de Ciutadella and a short walk to other sites like Arc de Triomf and Barceloneta beach. Barcelona is an international city, which has a lot of benefits for students studying abroad. TAM students will have opportunities to develop friendships with people from all over the world. I now have friends from Spain, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Argentina, just to name a few. In addition, Barcelona is a travel hub, which means there are many affordable travel options for weekend getaways within and outside of Spain. In Barcelona, the Catalan food is delicious, but there are also excellent restaurants for every type of cuisine. Catalan and Spanish are primarily spoken around the city, but it is possible to survive with only English. Knowing a little bit of Spanish will undoubtedly be helpful, though.
I highly recommend that current and future TAM students consider UPF and Barcelona for their second year of study. If any TAM students have questions about this partner site, such as tips for finding apartments, they can reach out to me with their questions.
I’ve included two photos, one that I took from Toledo, Spain, and then an aerial drone photo of Barcelona.