Life everywhere is unique and beautiful, so go explore it! Past Review

By (Marketing and Finance, Drake University) - abroad from 01/05/2014 to 04/25/2014 with

AIFS: Barcelona - Universitat Autònoma Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
1) The world is big. 2) The world is small. 3) Be a traveler, not a tourist. 4) Take advantage of everything. 5) It's good to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. 6) Go out of your way to meet new people. 7) Don't forget to slow it down sometimes (quality over quantity). 8) Don't be afraid to let loose and have fun. 9) Silence is not awkward until someone points it out. 10) Pay attention to everything. 11) Don't make things too long, as people have short attention spans.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Top shelf!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It had more ups than downs if that's what you're asking.

* Food:

Shopping and cooking for yourself in Europe is not exactly the same as in the U.S.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I traveled during the majority of the weekends, but if I had stayed in Barcelona the entire time I'm sure I would have been better integrated/acclimated. How could I pass up the opportunity for easy travel, though?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had some pretty nasty skin reactions while staying in hostels a couple times. I have the scars to prove it, but I wasn't entirely sure what they were until I got back home.

* Safety:

I know quite a few people who were pick-pocketed. Most were girls, and due to the conditions under which the thefts happened, the pick-pocketing wasn't exactly unpreventable.

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)

Traveling and eating out will get you, but I could probably get under $100/week pretty easily concerning food and transportation if I didn't travel.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I could probably get by with $50 on food and transport, but going out and traveling(including tours, museums, etc.) would run me anywhere from an extra $10 to $600 or so.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You can get by with walking in pretty much any city, but don't be afraid to take public transport if need be. I had to use the metro in Barcelona to get to my classes, etc. Don't eat out too much. A lot of bars and pretty much all the clubs will have expensive drinks and possibly cover charges.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Whatever 3 years in high school counts as
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? Try a homestay if you really want to be immersed. Meet new, non American people. Practice whenever you go out. People love students and will do their best to help you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • The people
  • The cost
* What could be improved?
  • Fix that exchange rate!
  • The program could have had some better built in trips/excursions.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I should have made a budget. Traveling in small groups without an agency(Bus2alps/Euroadventures) is the best. Near the end, I started to take Barcelona for granted, which is not a good thing. Although it didn't nearly as cold as Wisconsin in the winter, it still got pretty cold. I also wish I would have brought an umbrella/waterproof shoes. I think that's it....

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.