Arriving in Santa Barbara

Amanda Schnidrig, Switzerland


Finding the right terminal in an airport you have only been to once before in your life is difficult, especially if there are no signs leading you.

When I first arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport, I was lost. I knew I had to go to the John Bradley Terminal to find someone with an EF-sign to pick me up. This happened to be quite difficult because I could not manage to figure out where exactly at the airport I was.

I had just left the airplane and started my first journey all alone. But, as soon as I left the immigration station behind me, I had no idea where to go. I was able to find a customers service desk and the friendly woman there told me that I was actually at the right terminal. I wanted to thank her and look for my transfer, but the woman was faster and started to page them. When she finished, she immediately called the emergency number, without waiting for the transfer to react. I told her that I had only been there for a couple minutes, but she had already started calling. As soon as they picked up the phone I saw a young woman with a pink EF-sign walking towards us.  I told the woman at the customers service desk that I could see the EF transfer person and thanked the woman at the desk for helping me. Wo27F+UxRhSsOUreu7qqMg

The young woman with the EF-sign told me to wait there until another student arrived. She came back about half an hour later with a Japanese girl. Before we were able to start driving to Santa Barbara, our driver had to fill up the car with gas. The driver told me that it was her first time using this car. Unfortunately, she had no idea how to gas up. First, she picked the wrong  side and had to re park the car. After she had tried for 10 minutes to fill up the car, she looked for help. Two employees came and tried to help her, but no one seemed to be able to solve the problem.

About an hour after we had left the airport, we were still at a filling station near the airport, but somehow they managed to fill up the car. And finally, we were able to start our drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara.

We drove for about two hours and first I talked to the Japanese girl, but then I was too tired and hungry. I tried to sleep in the car because on my twelve hours flight I had not slept very much. Half an hour before we arrived I had to call my host family. The father picked up the phone and seemed to be very friendly.

When we arrived in Santa Barbara, the driver accompanied me to the door. When I first entered my new home, the father of my host family welcomed me and gave me something to eat. Shortly after, my new roommate came downstairs. She introduced herself and told me that this was going to be the best time in my life. I was also introduced to the other two EF-students living in the same house. I was too tired to remember all of these new names afterwards. school_us_santa-barbara_03

As soon as my head started hurting, the mother returned with her five year old son. He is really cute, but also very loud. He hugged me and asked if I wanted some candy. I thanked him and went to sleep.

It was a really hard day, but I was very excited for the next day to start school.


The Delicious Place Called PizzaRev

But what is special about PizzaRev? And why is it better than every other Italian restaurant?

It’s because the deliciously simple and satisfying concept, that you can choose everything for the pizza. You pick out your dough, sauce, cheese and toppings and the pizza crafters are working with you to make your own pizza right before your eyes. It’s like an adventure – A food adventure!

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  • You can choose your Crust: Roman thin or gluten-free dough, traditional or cauliflower.
  • Sauce it up with savory organic marinara, creamy white Alfredo, spicy-sweet BBQ or olive oil. And for the crazy ones, they have the opportunity to make a mix of sauces.
  • Now it’s time to put some toppings on your pizza. You can choose between more than 30 artisan cheeses and fresh ingredients. And the craziest thing is, that you can pick as many pizza toppings as you would like to, because PizzaRev doesn’t charge by the toppings.
  • They put your pizza in a oven which is fired-up at 900-degrees. Your masterpiece will have a crispy perfection in less than 3 minutes.
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And you only have to pay $8.99 for your own created pizza! Or you can have a half pizza and a slide salad for only $6. Isn’t that amazing? This is what we call the PizzaRev-olution!

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But where can your get the pizza? PizzaRev has a lot of locations in the USA and South America. You can find them on a map on their website.

If you like pizza, you should definitely try it! I’m pretty sure that you will love it. Check out their website, click through the topics and allow yourself to be inspired!

Your Barcelona Travel Guide

Nina Mundwiler and Melanie Galera, Switzerland

The perfect getaway to sightseeing, partying and eating good food is for sure Barcelona!

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Barcelona is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea and it registers a little bit more than 1.5 millions inhabitants. The climate is Mediterranean which allows you to spend your entire day at the beach from May until October! But why lay the whole day there when you could discover all the deep Catalonian culture just by strolling on the streets? Of course, everyone has already heard about La Rambla street and La Barceloneta Beach because those sites are the most well-known, but continue scrolling down this article to discover hidden little places that any other travel guide won’t show you!

Where to eat when in Barcelona ?

There’s nothing like a good brunch to start your day off right. If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy brunch, The Tropico is your place. The interior has a beachy vibe and it has a cool atmosphere.

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Take a tapas break on the steps of the Rambla at The Boquería Market, which is often described as a cathedral of the senses. You will find fresh seafood, jamon, fruits, vegetables, candies… In addition, there are dozens of tapas bars where you can stop to eat.

Churrería Laietana is one of the most famous places in Barcelona that serves the real Spanish churros, “porras” which are thicker than churros, with chocolate.

End your long day at the Pez Vela right on the beachfront -High quality Spanish food and tasty paella. The perfect spot to begin your Barcelona nightlife adventure.

What to do when in Barcelona ?

For sports passionate people, Barcelona is also one of the best European cities! FC Barcelona, better known as Barça, is one of the greatest soccer clubs of all times, full of history and with a really bright future! The Barcelona adventure would not be complete without having a glimpse inside the Camp Nou, this 99,000 seat amazing stadium. If you are lucky and ready to spend a good part of your travel budget for it, buy a ticket and immerse yourself in the Catalonian culture and attend a game! That is one of the most vibrant experiences you can ever have.

La Barceloneta walkway along the beach is obviously one of the standard places to visit in Barcelona. Spending the day lying on the beach or riding a segway along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea is a must and you will absolutely enjoy it and have a lot of fun during your day, either with your family or with some friends. Not only will you find a lot of typical little restaurants, but also ice cream or fruit sellers with nothing but their little barrow full of yummy snacks.

The Parc Güell is probably one of the most colorful sites in Barcelona. Having a walk inside the masterpiece of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi is so invigorating. All those different kinds of trees and multi-coloured mosaics add a lot of charm and character to the site. You will also enjoy a really magical view of the whole city and be able to see the bay and the sea far ahead. The Parc also houses a wide variety of wildlife and a lot of birds which is an amazing place to take unforgettable pictures!

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The church Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi, is one of the most emblematic symbols of Barcelona. After more than 100 years of construction, it is still in continuous renovation. It is for that reason that you will see many cranes spoiling the landscape…  Take the time to stroll through the park which offers a breathtaking view of the monument, but also book tickets in advance on the website to skip the 3-hour long line and be able to enter quickly in this amazing and peaceful site. The sun shining through the stained-glass windows and the atmosphere is stunning. Everybody is respectful and quiet; that keeps the amazing holiness of this sacred site. If you are full of energy and the temperature is not too warm, take your courage and climb on the staircase of 400-steps to see this breathtaking view of Barcelona!

Nightlife in Barcelona

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Have a drink with a view at the Skybar on the rooftop of the Grand Hotel Central. With its infinity pool and the impressive view of almost the whole city, it’s no surprise that this terrace doesn’t stay empty for long. The prices are relatively cheap compared to the other rooftop bars in Barcelona.

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If you enjoy drinking, dancing and having a party, Port Olimpic Beach Clubs is the place to go during your vacation. Here are a string of lounge bars and nightclubs. To have a drink outside, opt for Shoko or CDLC. If you prefer just to have a drink and dance surrounded by a crazy crowd and good music, you should choose either Pacha, Opium or Catwalk. During the crowded season, it is recommended buying VIP passes in advance if you want to be sure to enter and to avoid the huge line at the same time. Chilling out at Ice Bar is also a really fun experience if you are more adventurous. This bar is completely made out of ice! You can even drink in iced glasses!

Our experience in Barcelona

Every time we have been there we had an amazing time. We visited all the places above-mentioned and we highly recommend them! At any time of the year this city has a little something more that you would never find somewhere else. Everybody is friendly with you and always ready to help. Do not panic if you are lost. Public transports are really easy to use, but you should be aware that punctuality is not always a big thing in Spain. But do not despair, your bus is in any case going to come in a few minutes… Download the application Citymapper on your phone. It is really easy to use and it gives you the precise schedules of every subway, bus or train!

We hope you will enjoy your trip there! You are absolutely welcome to comment on this article to tell us what you thought about the sites we recommended, and also if you would advise other places that could be added to our travel guide!