The 4 months in Barcelona that changed my life August 16, 2018

By (University of St. Thomas - Minnesota) - abroad from 01/10/2018 to 04/26/2018 with

AIFS: Barcelona - Universitat Autònoma Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
10000% worthwhile!! Studying abroad changed who I am as a person for the better in so many ways. After my 4 months of living in Barcelona, I am more confident, independent, fulfilled and passionate, just to name a few. Studying abroad is truly that once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone should experience during their college years; whether it be a year, semester, j-term, or summer, take the leap of faith and STUDY ABROAD!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I loved my semester at UAB! I took 4 classes, all pertaining to my major and minor. Classes were very interesting and engaging! My classes were taught by Spanish faculty and our classrooms were made up of diverse students from all around the world.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site AIFS Barcelona staff is absolutely INCREIDBLE! They are a huge reason as to why my study abroad was the most amazing one that it could be. Their infinite support, love, care, compassion, and kindness were continuously being shown to be each and everyday. I'm so thankful for them and all of their hardworking, determination, and efforts into making this program the stellar one that it is.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Residencia Onix, and it was great! I had my own room and bathroom, and shared a kitchenette with a roommate. I loved it!

* Food:

Authentic Spanish food is delicious! I had many opportunities to try different types of dishes like: paella, many different tapas, and so much more!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

AIFS Barcelona provided me many opportunities to engage in the local culture through daily excursions on weekends like: walking tour of the Gothic Tour, La Sagrada Familia Tour, and a paella cooking just to name a few! I also participated in the "optional excursions" which allowed me to explore other provinces of Spain and neighboring countries!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

AIFS in Barcelona, Spain was everything I had hoped for and so much more! The academic setting, excursion options, and on-site support staff are just a few of the many reasons why this program was the perfect fit for me.

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)

As long as you budget in advance (like I did), finances shouldn't be an issue. Knowing what you can and can't spend per week, and being aware of it will help to keep finances in control!

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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 305
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? Just try to speak the language whenever and wherever! You get the most out of what you put in. So TRY it!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • AIFS Barcelona staff
  • Cultural excursions
  • Academic nniversity setting
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would've known how much I was going to love it. That being said, I wish I would've studied for an academic year. Knowing what I know now about studying abroad and seeing the incredible impact it had on my life in just 4 short months, I can't imagine how my life would've changed it 9 months!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.