Hi there from Europe!

¡Hola amigos! My name is Joni, and I’m a student at Portland State University, right downtown in the city. I’m twenty years old and originally from California, but I moved to Oregon just over two years ago for school. I’m now going into my third year with the university, but from all the way across the world in Barcelona, Spain, and I get to have your class experience it with me! Here’s a picture of me, my coffee, and one of my favorite burritos (yum) at the Saturday Farmer’s Market on the PSU campus so you can get to know me a little better. I bet some of you have been to the market too!


I’m a sociology major, which basically means I study people and how we interact with each other and the world around us. I am grateful to have the opportunity to study abroad because I love traveling and seeing what life is like in other places. It encompasses a lot of my current interests, including art and architecture, people and social relationships, nature, history, photography, and food of course, as you can see by how happy I am about that burrito.

Right now I’m actually reporting to you from London, United Kingdom. My studies in Spain don’t start until October 1st, but I’ll be moving in to my apartment on September 29th and I’ll update you with some pictures from Spain first thing. For now, I’ll show you a few I took on my trip to Eastern Europe, and maybe you’ll be able to spot some differences and similarities between the buildings in these Eastern European countries compared to Barcelona in Western Europe once I get there. Maybe think about how it compares to Portland too.

Prague, Czech Republic
Budapest, Hungary
Vienna, Austria

I’ve never been to Barcelona before, but I have heard loads of good things and we can learn together. Barcelona is one of the most popular cities to visit in the whole world, number twelve in fact. It’s about one third the size of Portland, but has almost 1 million more people, so it’s pretty big! The city also looks a little different than what you and I are used to because it’s a whole lot older, and the beach is right there too, like you can see in the picture I put down below.

One of the parts I’m most excited about is the winter weather. I’m sure you guys know all about the rain in Portland, which isn’t my favorite. In Europe they use Celsius to measure the temperature instead of Fahrenheit like we’re used to. Barcelona isn’t as rainy or cold, and the average winter temperature is around 14 degrees Celsius, which is about 57 degrees Fahrenheit. It can get pretty hot in the summers, and is still 80 degrees right now in September.

Here’s a map so you can get a better idea of where I’ll be reporting to you from!


I’m really looking forward to living in the city because although I’ve traveled to a few other countries, I’ve never gone by myself or lived abroad like I will be for the next six months. I’m hoping to improve my Spanish as well, and maybe you guys can help me with that one. The official language of Spain is Spanish, but Barcelona is a little tricky because they speak two different kinds called Castilian and Catalan. I speak a little bit of Spanish, but this should be fun for me to practice while I’m there, and I’m sure I’ll have some funny stories to tell you about my mistakes while I learn.

My program is called ALBA, and has other students from all down the West Coast who I’ll be studying with. I get to take classes in Art and Architecture, Spanish, and Sociology. I’ll be going to school Monday to Thursday, so I have three day weekends every week which, is pretty cool if you ask me. I also get to live with someone I’ve never met before sharing a Spanish apartment, which will be fun because I get to learn about her experience as well. One of the most important things to remember when you’re traveling is that everyone has a story, and sees the world in a different way. Whether we’re in Portland or Barcelona, we can learn a lot from the person right next to us.

Once I’m in Spain I’ll update you with some more pictures, but let me know what you think about traveling, school, or anything you have to ask me in the comments. Have any of you taken any fun trips? Overall, I’m excited to explore the city with you and am open to all that the experience has to offer!


52 thoughts on “Hi there from Europe!

  1. Katherine C.

    hola yo me llamo Nicky and im in 7th garde. i dont like school but i guess its cool or whatever. ¿que estas estudioando? by the way i live in portland oregon. My Birthday is coming up and im exited.


  2. Savina Troncelliti Sargent

    Hola! Me llamo Savina T, tengo 12 años y soy de Portland, Oregon. Mi comida favorita es pasta. A mi me gusta jugar fútbol y viajar a diferentes países con mi familia. Mi familia no habla español pero es my octavo año de ser en calse de español. Estoy feliz de hablar contigo!

    Hi! My name is Savina T, I am 12 years old and I am from Portland, Oregon. My favorite food is pasta and I love to travel to different countries with my family. My family does not speak any spanish but this is my eighth year being in spanish class. Im excited to talk to you!
    -Savina T

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Savina Troncelliti Sargent

        Hi! im very excited to talk to you! What other places have you traveled or want to travel to? ive been to Italy,Japan,Mexico, Costa Rica and other places in the US.


  3. Adrian

    Hola me llamo Adrian. O. Estoy en la clase (Am). Yo soy de Cancun, Mexico pero vivo en Portland. Me gusta tocar el ukulele y la musica. Mi comida favorita son los panuchos. Mi equipo de futbol favorito es el barcelona. Yo quiero empezar un canal de youtube.


  4. Amira Fitzgerald

    Hello there from Portland Oregon! My name is Amira F. I am in the AM class. I would like to know how is traveling abroad, i am interested myself. Also i would like to know more about studying sociology major.
    Yo tambien me gusta architecture y soy interesante con viajando. Se quiero que tu tienes un bueno grado y se gusta Spain.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Amira! I’m glad you’re interested in traveling, I would definitely recommend it because you get to learn about how people live their life every day all across the world. Plus, you get to meet so many people from different countries, you realize you have friends all over the world you just haven’t met yet. Sociology is great because it’s like learning about patterns of the world we live and the people we know (:


      1. Amira Fitzgerald

        Hello Again! I am going to New York soon with my family and I’m super excited. Although i bet its nothing like Spain. Where else would you like to go? Also where have you already been? I´ve always loved to travel ever since i was little. I´ve never left America sadly . I hope you are enjoying Barcelona!

        -Amira F.


  5. Ciara F.

    Hi there, my name is Ciara F. from Portland, Oregon. I am 12 years old and in Ms, Calderon´s AM class. I have always lived here in Oregon,I´ve never moved out of state. I wonder how is Europe over there, I hope it´s really pretty. i have traveled over to Mexico but nothing else. By the way I love your sweater where did you get it from?

    Ciara Fragoso


  6. Shayla m

    Yo soy Shayla M yo vivo en Portland yo estoy en la clase de la manana.
    Hello i am Shayla M i live in Portland i am in the morning class.
    debes que ir a mexico para que mires una iglesia muy grande y bonita tiene mucho arte.


  7. Greta

    Hi, My name is Greta. Im 13 years old and I went to Europe for a onth this summer. I tried to have a blog but I never had very good internet and ended up losing a lot of my work. Europe was really cool! I went to Italy, Greece, Sweeden, Holland, Albania, and Croatia. I loooooove experiencing different cultures and discovering new places!

    Yo soy en un clase de espanol. Me gusta pero es difficil a veces. Espero que tienes un buen experiencia en espana!



  8. Liliana

    hi i am from Portland i am Liliana D. i am from the AM class in Mrs Calderon’s class.
    I think that you should go to a score game in Barcelona and see maze play it would be fun?


  9. Ruby

    Hi there from Portland! My name is Ruby i am 12 yrs old about to turn 13 in two months from now. I am in the AM class from ms calderons class. How is Europe? is it pretty? is it like in the movies with a lot of buildings? , are the sunsets beautiful?.

    ¡Hola desde Portland! Mi nombre es Ruby tengo 12 años a punto de cumplir 13 en dos meses a partir de ahora. Estoy en la clase AM de la clase ms calderons. ¿Cómo está Europa? es lindo? ¿Es como en las películas con muchos edificios? , ¿son hermosos los atardeceres?


  10. Evelyn.

    Hello there! I am Evelyn.K, I am 12 years old, and I am in Ms.Calderon Am class. I would like to know about how Spain lives a normal day and how it is to be there. I would also like to know what are the most interesting places in Spain. I hope you get to have a fun time and get a good grade.

    Hola! Soy Evelyn.K, tengo 12 años, y estoy en la clase AM de la Maestra Calderon. Me gustaria saber como es un dia normal en españa, y como es estar alla. Tambien me gustaria saber cuales son los lugares mas interesantes en españa. Ojala que te la pases bien.


  11. Citlaly

    hello my name is Citlaly M I am from Portland Oregon and I am from the class Am
    hola mi nobre es Citllay M soy de Portland Oregon y soy de la clase Am
    I would really want to travel to the Bahamas
    Mi gustaria viajar a la Bahamas


  12. Osmar

    Hola from Portland and you came here one time were a class and you were a Spanish immersions. Sierto? Si puedes que digo? ME GUSTA EL POLLO!! Lets see if you under stand that. Hope fully you can under stand me because im a bad speller in inglish. So do you like CHICKEN? Also como se siente ser professional. Also can you send pictures of eroupe and all over you go becose i want to know how el otro lado del mundo se mira. Yo soy un Niño bien chistoso puedo ablar como un Niño pequeño hora i have to stop class is ganna end so have a good day and get good grades good bye!! =)


  13. Hola Joni, soy Wendolin! Yo vivo en Portland tambien y voy a Beaumont MIddle School. Me encanto animales, mis favoritos son el hipopotimo, la gata y el mapache. Mis interesas academicas son el arte como tu, la architectura tambien como tu, el engenieria y la matematicas. Quando soy adulto quiero ser engeniero de nave espacial.
    Quiero hablarte mas!


  14. Veronica Ch.

    Hi from Portland!
    My name is Veronica, I am in Mrs.Calderon´s a.m. class. Outside of school I do gymnastics and I enjoy hanging out with friends. I heard that you are learning Spanish so now I´m going to translate what I said to Spanish.
    Mi nombre es Veronica, yo soy en la clase a.m. de Maestra Calderon. Afuera de escuela ami me gusta hacer gimnasia y estar con mis amigos.


      1. Veronica Ch.

        Hello, again! What other places have you traveled to? I haven´t been to a lot of places but, me and my family are planning to go to Cabo, Mexico this November and I´m very excited!! How is the weather in Spain? Its 66°F in Portland,OR right now. Hope you have a good day!


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