Hike Magical Costa Brava

  <p>The Maresme region is nestled along the Mediterranean Sea and I highly recommend exploring the Costa Brava Trail. It laces through mountains, beaches, and little whitewashed towns.</p>

  <img src="https://iex-website.s3.amazonaws.com/images/articles/working-abroad/2017/kaila-young-costa-brava-landscape.jpg" alt="Mediterranean Coast" class="margin-top img-responsive img-responsive-min margin-bottom" />

  <p>My host father drove us to the town of Palamόs, about an hour outside of Llica D'Amunt, where we live. We spent the day walking beside the sea and picnicking at portside towns. It was magical!</p>
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  <img src="https://iex-website.s3.amazonaws.com/images/articles/working-abroad/2017/kayla-young-costa-brava.jpg" alt="Kaila on the Costa Brava Trail" class="margin-top img-responsive img-responsive-min margin-bottom" />
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  <p>I don’t know the InterExchange formula for matching participants with host families, but it must be backed by Nobel Prize science because my hosts are easygoing, outdoorsy, adventurous nature lovers—just like me! We bonded within hours and I’m so thankful they showed me this coastal treasure.</p>

  <h3>Forage for Mushrooms (yep, it's a thing!)</h3>

  <img src="https://iex-website.s3.amazonaws.com/images/articles/working-abroad/2017/kayla-young-mushrooms.jpg" alt="Mushrooms" class="margin-top img-responsive img-responsive-min margin-bottom" />

  <p>Hunting for edible fungi is a tradition in Catalonia. Families will either camp in the mountain or leave long before the sun rises to start foraging. If your host family extends an invitation, say sí! Mushrooms hit peak ripeness in early November, so as my host family and I trekked through frosted fields, we dug our hands in our pockets and tried to stay warm. My family showed me how to distinguish between the edible and the deadly—important to know!</p>

  <img src="https://iex-website.s3.amazonaws.com/images/articles/working-abroad/2017/kayla-young-with-host-sister.jpg" alt="Kaila and her host sister, Ona" class="margin-top img-responsive img-responsive-min margin-bottom" />

  <p>We headed out in the dark of early morning, so when the sun finally rose my host sister, Ona, and I cheered with relief!</p>

  <h3>Roam around Barcelona: You’ll love the gothic-fairytale vibe</h3>

  <img src="https://iex-website.s3.amazonaws.com/images/articles/working-abroad/2017/kaila-young-walking-catalonia.jpg" alt="Kaila walking a Barcelona alleyway" class="margin-top img-responsive img-responsive-min margin-bottom" />

  <p>Heading to Barcelona from the Maresme region, where you’ll live on the <a href="https://www.interexchange.org/travel-abroad/school-teaching-assistant-spain/">School Teaching Assistant Spain</a> program, is easy and inexpensive. The train ticket costs only about $9 and in a little under an hour you’ll be in one of most vibrant cities in the world.</p>

  <img src="https://iex-website.s3.amazonaws.com/images/articles/working-abroad/2017/kaila-young-with-fellow-pax-spain.jpg" alt="Kaila and Jacqulyn" class="margin-top img-responsive img-responsive-min margin-bottom" />

  <p>Jacqulyn, a fellow program participant, and I ventured to the city for the first time together. We strolled the gothic fairytale alleyways, gaped at the Sagrada Familia, sipped local <i>vino</i>, and dined at Els Quatre Gats—the same café Picasso, Gaudí, and other famous artists frequented!</p>

  <p>The flexible nature of the Teaching Assistant program allows you to easily fit adventure into your life in Catalonia. The only sacrifice might be extra hours of sleep on your weekends, but wouldn’t you rather be in a place where you never want to close your eyes? I know I would!</p>
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U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation