The semester that changed my life! Past Review

By (Marketing And Management, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) - abroad from 01/07/2013 to 04/26/2013 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 about myself while abroad. Living in a different country is unlike any experience you could imagine. You learn to love what is different from home which opens your mind even more. The people you meet while studying abroad are friends you'll keep the rest of your life because they are the only ones who know how you felt every step of the way.

Review Photos

API (Academic Programs International): Barcelona - University Autonoma of Barcelona Photo API (Academic Programs International): Barcelona - University Autonoma of Barcelona Photo API (Academic Programs International): Barcelona - University Autonoma of Barcelona Photo API (Academic Programs International): Barcelona - University Autonoma of Barcelona Photo API (Academic Programs International): Barcelona - University Autonoma of Barcelona Photo

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.

Classes were at the perfect difficulty level to allow traveling on the weekend and enjoyable weekdays.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living in the dorms I was surrounded by other American students. Although we weren't speaking Spanish on a regular basis, I did feel having each other to try new things with helped us integrate into the culture more.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Barcelona is generally a safe city. The only issue we were faced with was pick-pocketing. As long as you keep your bag under your arm and don't hang your things on the back of chairs at restaurants or anywhere in public it is not a problem.

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 spent about $250 a week but that includes traveling on the weekends. It's a once in a lifetime experience and you can choose how far you want to take it. My expenses were much more than others just because I lived in the dorms, had to cook my own meals and traveled A LOT.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $250
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use apps like TripAdvisor to find places to eat either in your home city/country or wherever you travel. That way you can define where you eat by the quality and price. Also, try to make your own meals as often as possible. You may have to go grocery shopping more often than in the U.S. but it saves a lot!


* 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? Spanish 201
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? Make local friends! Many of them want to practice their English so if you each speak in the opposite language together it's rewarding for both of you. (And locals are the best to know for places to eat and the best clubs to go to).

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?
  • Location
  • Living space
  • People
* What could be improved?
  • Day trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Spain is not a third world country by any means, let alone Barcelona. You will be able to find almost everything in Barcelona that you can in the U.S. Don't waste space packing toiletries like shampoo and conditioner when you can find all of that there. (I would suggest taking travel sized everything to use until you get to a store when you arrive, and to have for weekend trips throughout the semester!) You will want to save as much space as possible for everything you buy while abroad! Also, although this isn't the focus of your program, take advantage of the nightlife and know there is something to do EVERY night. You're in college, live it up!

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.