Studying abroad definitely gave me a new aspect on life. Past Review

By (Bryant University) - abroad from 01/08/2012 to 04/26/2012 with

API (Academic Programs International): Barcelona - Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much, I learned more spanish, about barcelona and spain in general, i got to meet people from all over the US and also from europe, i would love to study abroad again!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration of API were great! Everyone was super friendly, very helpful, and knowledgable about the area.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the dorm style living. I was very close to the center of Barcelona which I enjoyed, and we had all of our own bedrooms, bathrooms, and we shared a kitchen with 10 other people.

* Food:

I am a picky eater and did not enjoy the typical spanish cuisine, but I definitely was able to find things I liked. Since I had access to a kitchen I could make what I wanted and I also found things I liked at most restaurants. Barcelona is such a metropolitan city so it was easy to find a variety of foods from sushi to Italian.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My classes were all American students and I lived with American students so I did not get to feel too integrated with the local culture. However, API gave us the opportunity to join a soccer team. Also, we had an event for cooking typical spanish cuisine, got to go to a flamenco show, and also traveled to other regions of Spain.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

API gave us a book of resources during our stay. A main section of the book was for health care. I had to go to a walk in clinic for a sore throat and they were very helpful.

* Safety:

API forewarned us about the threat of potential pickpocketing, but assured us that other than pickpocketing there was really no other violence. I never got pick pocketed and also felt very safe in my dorms. There was always a security guard on duty and you had to swipe an access card to even get into the dorm buildings. I felt very safe during my stay.

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)

Grocery stores were very reasonable in Barcelona, in fact I felt that most food was cheap. Other things were cheaper than in America as well, but some things were also more expensive. For example shaving cream was the equivalent of about 7 dollars. For the most part I felt that it was very easy to live on a "student's budget". I also did a lot of traveling within europe because flights were cheap as well as Hostels.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-$200 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely bring toiletries from home as well as medicine so that you do not have to buy them abroad.


* 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

We got emails in spanish and talked to in meetings in spanish. Plus we were required to take 8 hours of spanish a week.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? the highest level offered in high school
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? Definitely get a language partner and try to use the language with locals as much as possible. I went to a cafe everyday where I met a waiter who was fluent in Spanish and spoke english too, so we helped each other out.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • getting to live in a foreign country
  • getting to speak a foreign language outside of the class room
  • getting to travel around europe because we had Fridays off
* What could be improved?
  • more opportunities to meet locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I had known that I was going to be with all Americans because i was expecting classes with locals

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spanis A1+

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Antonia Melendez
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The class was not too challenging, but the whole entire class was in Spanish. I had taken spanish since 1st grade so I understood the class for the most part. The teacher was very helpful and knowledgable, however, she did not speak any english. I participated more than i would at my home univeristy because I felt very comfortable with the spanish in that class.
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems transferring credits.
Course Name/Rating:

Mediterranean Culture and History

Course Department:
Instructor: Toni Raja
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was probably the most challenging class I had abroad. There was not a large amount of work load however, there were only 2 exams which made up the whole grade. The exams were multiple choice and essay questions. There was way too much information for one exam and there was not a text book for the class so it was based solely on lecture notes. I thought the professor was very knowledgable and well prepared and I enjoyed his class. We did get to watch two movies too, which were part of the essay questions on our exams.
Credit Transfer Issues: I had no problems transferring the credits.
Course Name/Rating:

International Marketing

Course Department:
Instructor: Diana Fillipscu
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The class was not very challenging, it was an intro marketing class. There were several group projects, one of the projects was not very detailed and was quick, the other one was over the course of the semester but the professor gave us guidelines and due dates along the way to ensure we were working on the project. I did not really like the professor for this class, the class was somewhat boring because it consisted only of powerpoint slides for the lecture. I participated less often then I would at my home university.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did not have any issues transferring the credits.