Today marks the day I embark on my year abroad to Barcelona. I’ll be studying Portuguese language and literature and Spanish grammar and literature at the Universitat de Barcelona in the centre of the city. During this time, I hope to expand on my “reading around” journalism. I plan to spend my time reading books by some of Britain’s best journalists. On my reading list, I currently have Nick Robinson’s “Live from Downing Street” Gavin Hewitt’s “The Lost Continent”, Andrew Marr’s “My Trade” and Jeremy Bowen’s “The Arab Uprisings”. All BBC journalists, I know…

Going abroad doesn’t mean I’ll stop watching and keeping up to date with British news. I plan to watch my favourite news programmes, such as Newsnight and Channel 4 News, more than ever, and take a critical look at how they cover stories and how they differ.

Being in Barcelona means that I’ll be able to explore a city that I’ve longed  to live in for a long time. Absorbing Catalan culture has been a passion that I’ve wanted to continue exploring since being acquainted with the Catalan language several years ago. I’d like to make this my specialism in journalism. Catalonia is approaching a very exciting year with clamours for independence ever growing. Tomorrow marks Catalonia’s national day – La Diada – and I’ve no doubt I’ll be walking around the streets soaking up this unique show of national pride and culture.

Off I go then, for the next ten months!

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