A truly free city Past Review

By (International Business, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign) - abroad from 06/01/2015 to 07/24/2015 with

Adelante: Barcelona - Intern In Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely worthwhile. A great break from the mundane and repetitive life of home, and I was able to think for myself by myself. I knew it was going to be the best summer of my life, and it was. I also knew I loved European culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned a lot about myself, the city, region(Catalonia), history, foods, wines, outlooks on life, and etc. I did not have classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My boss was my host country administrator, so I could talk to her any day of the week.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was satisfied in the very independent setting. There were no requirements which made life easy.

* Food:

I ate more olives and thin sliced ham this summer than most people do in a lifetime, and I loved it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It would have been easier if I was fluent in Spanish, but I felt like I was a member of the city. I tried to do things that I felt locals did. I met a lot of awesome people, but I didn't have any really close Catalonian friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any.

* Safety:

I was safe. A guy is less of a target for pickpockets than girls(purses).

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I saved and spent. I'm sure you could live on $100 a week but I chose not to.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I was encouraged to, and only my boss spoke English in my office.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 4
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Practice conversations with yourself. Use shortcuts to infinitive forms like tener + que + infinitive or use the participles like haber + -ado, -ido.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food
  • Independence
  • Reading
* What could be improved?
  • I'm not sure.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I would to have loved to stay for another month.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'