Barcelona was an incredible experience, but expensive. Past Review

By (Finance And Economics, Bentley University) - abroad from 01/06/2013 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 a lot about being on my own in a different place. It teaches you to be resourceful and I definitely recommend some sort of abroad experience if at all possible.

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

The API office was very helpful with any issues we had throughout the process. They also put on several really fun events over the course of the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartment was very nice, but we were separated from everyone else in our program. If at all possible, it would be better if the students were in the same building/neighborhood at least.

* Food:

I enjoyed the Spanish food when we went out to eat, and the grocery store was inexpensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I tried really hard throughout the first two months of the program to practice speaking Spanish with locals and interacting any way I could. I found a lot of people in Barcelona to be a little rude and not very welcoming. It made it difficult to keep trying near the end.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any interaction with the health care system.

* Safety:

Barcelona seemed like a decently safe city, pickpockets are an issue though.

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)

Besides the food cost, almost everything was pretty expensive in Barcelona. That had everything to do with the exchange rate though, it's expensive all over Europe.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $175-$200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan your trips ahead of time, as far as possible. The better you plan your trips the more money you'll save and the more fun you'll have.


* 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

They very frequently reminded us to use the language as often as possible. But with Catalan it's harder to understand people in Barcelona than in other parts of Spain.

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? Elementary Spanish 2
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? I honestly would say be careful with the language aspect. I took elementary Spanish at Bentley, and then had no choice but to take the next level up "equivalent" in Spain and it was way above my actual level. Be prepared to really spend a lot of time on it if you want a good grade.

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

  • International Students
  • Host Family
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 location
* What could be improved?
  • Language course equivalents
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much the exchange rate effects the amount of money you're going to spend. Other than that I enjoyed trying something new and learning on the go.

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.