If I could go back tomorrow, I would do it! May 17, 2017

By (Birmingham-Southern College) - abroad from 01/11/2017 to 04/27/2017 with

AIFS: Barcelona - Universitat Autònoma Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned another language, I'm more outspoken and independent, I'm more open minded. My experience also opened my eyes to issues outside of the US.

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.

I learned a lot in my classes, and my professors were great! They seemed to have a lot of knowledge behind their subjects, and they were also very easy to work with.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators were professional and were always available when help or advice was needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutely loved my host family and roommates. I couldn't have chosen a better family to spend my semester abroad with.

* Food:

The food was delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local culture. Not only did I live with a host family, but I also had a few friends who were local which made my experience even more enjoyable.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never needed to use the local healthcare system, but the program did well to assist those who needed it.

* Safety:

The city is very safe. I never really felt that I was in danger. Overall, I would say to just use the same precautions that one would use in any city and to always be smart with your belongings. Pick pocketing was the biggest concern in my host city.

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

The program fit my needs and was very helpful when it came to settling in to a new culture

Finances

* 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)

The cost of living in Barcelona wasn't too expensive so I was able to manage with my budget.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead when it comes to traveling. Flying in Europe is a lot cheaper than it is in the US but even more so when you plan your weekend excursions ahead of time.

Language

* 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

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? A year of Spanish in high school
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Live with a host family and do your best to make friends with the locals. If available, sign up for language exchanges.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Cost
  • Length
  • Professors
* What could be improved?
  • Cost of excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I know a lot more about the political situation in Spain and Catalonia. I knew quite a bit before going but knowing even more would have been beneficial.

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.'