There are many exciting things that come as part of being a CEMS student – a semester abroad, friends from all over Europe, the chance to learn a new language, a huge alumni network and excellent career opportunities with corporate partners. But one oft overlooked perk is the opportunity to graduate in a completely new city.
This year was the 25th year of CEMS and the graduation ceremony was held in the city of sun, sand and an unending supply of Tapas and outrageously beautiful people – Barcelona! The school hosting the ceremony was ESADE and the ceremony was on the thanksgiving weekend. I landed on Thursday to find that shops in Barcelona were open till 1 am. There was live music playing in retail shops and McDonalds was giving away mulled wine at the Ramblas – heaven!
Going from London to Barcelona was a shock – zero queues at the immigration counter at the airport, bars open till 3 am and clubs, all night possibly. People arrive for parties at 1 am (the time at which London clubs begin throwing people out) and to top it off, one hour away in Ibiza, people usually end parties with breakfast!
But I digress. What was I talking about? Yes, graduation.
The graduation ceremony itself is fairly straightforward. Around 970 students graduated from CEMS this year and the ceremony was beamed live over the internet and thus my family in India was able to see it as well, which was great! There was a graduation cocktail and formal dinner and party as well and mixed emotions were the order of the day – happiness that we had graduated tinged with a hint of sadness that student life was possibly over for the foreseeable future!
Friends from semi-remembered soirées, and other bits and pieces of life – long forgotten and scattered all over the world – came rushing back as we danced to the tune of Connemara one last time. Adios CEMS, you were fine!
~ Barcelona is not a city, it is a way of life… ~