One of the Best Study Abroad Options Past Review

By (Emerson College) - abroad from 01/02/2018 to 04/13/2018 with

Arcadia: Barcelona- Arcadia in Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! I learned a lot about not only Spanish/Catalan culture, but European culture. I made new friends and expanded my horizons in terms of acceptance, food preferences, and language barriers.

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.

Some courses are very, very easy, but others are moderately challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Amazing staff at the Arcadia Center in Barcelona! They are like your family when you're there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Some apartments are better than others and I heard the dorms were not that great. You usually live with a mix of of other students from different countries in the apartments.

* Food:

Traditional tapas get old after a while, but Barcelona has a great variety of food but it'll cost you $$$.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The recommended doctor in Barcelona was very friendly, although his office doesn't consist of much, he still is very knowledgeable.

* Safety:

Always felt safe when walking around the streets, even at night. Just be aware and cautious to avoid pick-pockets. There were riots in the street right outside my apartment due to the government situation in Catalonia but I was not present when it happened.

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

Courses are manageable, staff is super friendly, easy to travel outside of Barcelona, and Barcelona is the perfect city to explore over a course of 3.5 months.


* 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 your not eating out for every meal, it is easy to live on a budget. I spend approx. $30 on groceries every week and that was enough to get by.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself, go for the menu de día if you are going to eat out, avoid tourist heavy areas for shopping.


* 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 said to only speak Spanish to the staff in the center, but it is not enforced. But, you should try to use the language when ordering food or speaking to locals in shops, restaurants, etc.

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? High School Spanish II
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? Take a Spanish course, download Google translate (it's useful for quick translations), order breakfast and coffee in Spanish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Culture Excursions
  • Barcelona Staff
  • Course Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • U.S. Staff
  • Course Organization/Information
  • Arcadia Center in Barcelona
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I would be living with international students, which was not a problem just would've been nice to know, and also I wish I knew more information about the courses I was taking.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.