When given the opportunity to study abroad in any city, international students have to make the decision where they want to gain the best all-round experience. Barcelona houses many people and is becoming one of the most popular places for Americans and international students to study and live for several months at a time. Barcelona recently surpassed the 7.5 million-tourist mark for the first time and according to goabroad.com Spain is currently home to 25,000 American ‘study abroad’ students. Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city with 1.5 million people in 10 districts. Most tourists like to stay in the most popular area which is downtown Barcelona. Another popular area to stay in is near the Barcelona beaches, which are in the Sant Marti district. Here many like to stay in beach neighborhoods called Vila Limpica, Poblenou or Diagonal Mar. This area is generally a mix of 19th century industrial neighborhoods currently being transformed into new modern residential areas with hi-tech business facilities. It is important for whoever may be the tourist visiting Barcelona, or an international student to find accommodation in which they will feel comfortable and safe in during their time in this incredible city.
A great option international student is the Melon District Marina. This is located near the Poblenou neighborhood and very close to the beach. It is the biggest residence in Barcelona and is a unique budget accommodation option for short or long trips to the city. Melon District Marina is utilized as a University Residence and hostel and it is located in Carrer de Sancho de Avila, 22 and it is 1.2 miles from the Plaça de Catalunya. Melon district marina also is only a five-minute walk from the metro red line stop and there are usually taxi cabs parked outside of the front of the building.
This Recidencia offers double and twin bed rooms for daily stays with a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and a shared cooking lounge. Each Room has a comfortable bed and every guest gets their own bathroom. The kitchen lounge is shared where people can socialize and relax and meet the rest of their hall mates. One of the hallmarks for the Melon District Marina are the common areas where they are friendly communal spaces and each are designed to encourage new connections and friendships. A lot of international students are actually mixed in with local students who go to University in the city. The cooking lounge is an end of each hallway and is shared between 10 people living on the same floor. It is equipped with a fridge with separate compartments, a freezer, a stove, a flat screen TV and Wi-Fi. There are also 4 terraces on each of the four buildings of melon that overlook the beautiful views of Barcelona. During the summer months the pools are available to use. If a guest needs to get work done, Melon Marina also offers a meeting lounge located on the first floor of Building A. Melon has 4 buildings A, B, C, D and they all have a communal kitchen in each hallway and a terrace at the top of the building. Melon Marina also has a Melon Café, where you can enjoy self-service breakfast lunch or dinner. Melon café also has free Wi-Fi and has a take away service.
One of the most important qualities that Melon Marina offers is the reception staff. The reception staff has a superb reputation from many reviews online. The reception staff is on duty for 24 hours a day and let their guests check in at anytime after 3pm. If a guest arrives early in the morning, a luggage room is available for storage. One might think that a receptionist might have an easy job, but at the Melon District Marina it is a full time job and it can get quite complicated. There are some times where there is a rush hour of people trying to all check in at once, which can be very difficult for the Melon staff to deal with at one time.
Melon district has magnetic keys, which are distributed to all the guests for maximum safety. It can be very frustrating when a guest looses a key and has to go to the front desk and purchase another one. There are many skills required for a receptionist, and it is not an easy job of just answering the phone. At Melon Marina they have a reputable staff that has to deal with almost 500 guests at one time. The receptionists at Melon Marina have to: choose rooms hand out keys, make payments and prepare bills, answer questions dealing with special requests and complaints from guests. Melon Marina is such a cultural mix of people that sometimes problems arise when it comes to hospitality service due to some cultural differences. The receptionists at Melon Marina have to be able to deal with rude and unreasonable guests because maybe some of them are not patient and not used to a different cultural environment such as their own. All of the receptionists at Melon have great customer service skills, a professional and friendly telephone manner, patience and the ability to stay calm under pressure and look after several things at once. Some of the receptionists at Melon Marina can speak up to 5 languages which is extremely impressive and it can be very useful when it comes to dealing with foreign guests. One of the biggest issues of being a receptionist at Melon Marina is the amount of people that check in at once. That can be very overwhelming and stressful to sign such a large amount of people in at once.
Another great aspect to living in Melon Marina is the high security that the Recedencia provides. There is always a security guard after 11 pm watching to see whom signs people in and out to make sure everyone is a guest. If someone is not staying is living in Melon Marina and brings home a guest, it is a required for that guest to sign in a hand in their license. This is to insure they are not a threat to the rest of the Melon District residences. Also Every Melon guest is administered a Melon card, which allows access to the room and all of the buildings. At the front of the Melon building entrance there are sliding doors that requires the key for easy access.
Overall, The Melon Marina district is a great option for international travelers and is very accommodating to US students studying abroad in Barcelona. The central location, great atmosphere and prestigious staff of receptionists will make one feel like Barcelona is their second home. Melon District residences provide a great combination of security and social life and have had guests from all over Spain and up to 50 other countries. This residence is recommended to travelers who are on a budget and to Americans who want to gain the fullest experience from studying abroad in Barcelona.