Human castles and alumni wisdom welcome 2012-13 Barcelona GSE master students

The Barcelona GSE officially welcomed new masters students with a special event at the Bellaterra Campus on September 27. The Welcome Day is an opportunity to bring together the entire class of 245 students along with faculty, alumni and staff to meet each other and share advice at the beginning of the academic year.

Barcelona GSE Welcome Day 2012 at Bellaterra Campus

The program included a brief address by Barcelona GSE Director Dr. Eduard Vallory, who encouraged students to embrace the year ahead. “Your master year will be defined by excitement and hard work,” he told the new class of graduate students.

Barcelona GSE alum Christina Hans '12 also spoke to the students, sharing memories from last year and offering hints for making the most of the GSE experience. “I am sure I’m not exaggerating nor the only one from my class to call it the most exciting, ambitious and also fun year of my life so far,” she said.

Christina Hans '12

Ms. Hans advised students to team up with fellow classmates to work through the master’s many challenges, and to take advantage of a year spent in Barcelona with one of the most diverse groups of peers they will encounter in their academic and professional lives. “There’s not a lot of places in which you can find more people doing the same things with such a diversity of backgrounds and ways to solve problems...The diversity you have right here will probably not ever be the case again, so try to experience all kinds of different things, get out of your comfort zone and don’t be shy,” she said.

The same advice applies to free time, according to Ms. Hans, who recalled celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving in Ciutadella Park, dressing up in red for Chinese New Year and making Russian Easter eggs in a classmate’s apartment. Excursions to Andorra for skiing and Sitges for Carnival gave students the chance to share in creating new traditions together as well.

Students build a human castle with Ganàpies de la UAB

The new Barcelona GSE students got an introduction to the unique Catalan tradition of human castle building during the second half of the day’s welcome event. The UAB “castellers” build five castles for the students, many of whom jumped in as active participants (from the relative safety of the castle base on the ground floor).

Prof. Nezih Guner, director of the new Master in Economics of Public Policy, with students at Welcome Day 2012.

View all photos from Welcome Day 2012