2008 ISU Space Studies Program Moved from Naples to Barcelona

I had heard rumors recently, and it turns out that they are true: the 2008 International Space University Space Studies Program -- when did they change SSP from Summer Session Program to Space Studies Program? -- is being moved from Naples, Italy to Barcelona, Spain. From the SSP web site [isunet.edu]...

Commenting on the change, Dr. Michael Simpson, President of ISU said, "Although the support received from our local academic partner, University of Naples Federico II, has been excellent, and the level of space expertise available in the Naples area is very high, we were ultimately not able to resolve a number of logistic issues regarding such matters as student transportation, residential internet access, and scholarship support."

Bummer. Sorry, Naples. One of the problems I had heard also -- not from ISU, but from a friend who lived in Italy -- is that Naples is experiencing a bit of a "trash crisis." What does that mean? I thought it was a joke, but there's a serious trash problem in Naples [iht.com]. Anyway, for those SSP students going to the 2008 SSP: lucky you. I visited Barcelona after SSP 2006 (Strasbourg, France) with Jorge, a catalán, and Al, an Irish guy who faked being a catalán pretty damn good, and it was a cool city. I'd love to go back. My advice? Sure, sure, learn a bit of Spanish before you go, but I highly recommend learning just a few words and phrases of the local language, Catalan [wikipedia.org]. You could survive with English, but if you know some Catalan, you'll get +10 in the respect column. I also recommend stopping at Turronería Sirvent [turronessirvent.com] for ice cream. It's excellent (and recommended by Jorge). Here it is on a map of Barcelona.

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