This summer was more than I could ask for! July 13, 2015

By (Public Relations, Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne / IPFW) - abroad from 05/29/2015 to 06/27/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely learned to be more independent, which is why I chose to go abroad in the first place. I also learned more Spanish! Overall, it was definitely worthwhile!

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

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.

The professors were very helpful and always kept the class busy with fun activities.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The API staff was absolutely amazing! They were always helpful and were always willing to answer any questions.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Overall, I had a good experience with my host mom. She was a lovely woman and definitely was helpful. Unfortunately, I had no prior spanish experience, so I wasn't really able to communicate with her and meals were very small.

* Food:

The food in Spain was amazing. I always loved going out to eat and trying new food. Unfortunately with my host mother we ate the same thing over and over a lot, but it was still good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I definitely felt that I was integrated with the local culture. I always felt comfortable walking by myself, going to the market, and taking public transportation. I definitely felt welcomed.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Barcelona! The only time I had an issue was when I was on the beach and got my purse stolen, but thankfully I found it in the sand.

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

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)

It was kind of difficult for me to stay on my original budget, but it was definitely worth it in the end. I just spent a lot of money on transportation and ended up taking a trip to Austria for a weekend. Also, since I was hungry a lot after dinner I would end up going out to eat to grab more food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure you get a metro pass in the beginning. I didn't think I would need one, since I lived right next to the school and many other things, but after a week I definitely needed one.

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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 0
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 sure to practice your language skills with the locals at the markets and at the bars. Try practicing with your host family as well!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Excursions
  • Location
  • Education
* What could be improved?
  • Education
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew a little Spanish before going to Spain because they put me in the advanced beginner without knowing and I definitely struggled a little bit.

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.'