Welcome to my new crazy reality. Past Review

By (Brigham Young University) - abroad from 10/15/2012 to 06/15/2013 with

Brigham Young University: LDS Employment Services Spanish International Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Academically this was the best thing I could be doing right now. Don't regret it. Socially it's been a tough year, and the best thing I can say regarding that is that I've learned a lot about myself.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I'm directly enrolled at a foreign university. Academically it's been a great experience. But in terms of paperwork, this was really hard to do and I didn't get much support from BYU in trying it. In fact, I was discouraged from trying direct enrollment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I've lived in three apartments here. I've tried living with members and non-members ... most of the members live in apartments without heat/hot water, but in nicer apartments I've had to deal with heavy smokers and drinkers.

* Food:

I have loved living on the Mediterranean, the food is so good. So fresh, tons of fresh seafood and produce. And cured Spanish ham ... yum.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

HTH insurance is THE BEST THING EVER. I actually am covered by three kinds of insurance right now, but HTH is the best. It was really easy to see a doctor, and she was American. It's great not to have to navigate paperwork, claims, etc. when you're sick.

* Safety:

Barcelona is very safe compared to the USA.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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 have lost a ton of weight because I can't afford groceries sometimes.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? In a month I spend about 500 euros (including rent), that's maybe 600-700 USD.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be sure to check into whether you can take out a loan. I've never needed one before, but would have taken one out to do this. However, I'm not enrolled for enough American credits to do so.


* 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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPAN 421
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Be sure you know what languages are spoken in the place you're going to! It sounds obvious, but I didn't realize I would have to know Catalan, not just Spanish, to live in Barcelona.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • School
  • Proximity to arts and culture
  • Working abroad
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
  • Support network
  • Cost
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A lot of things. You are more on your own than you think you are. Don't drink the milk. Be sure to stay in close touch with your family. Be grateful for the small things.

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.'