Barcelona a life changing experience: learning the catalan way Past Review

By (Urban and Regional Planning, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona) for

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
More global awareness and an appreciation for the Catalan culture. I plan to find more ways to live abroad.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I think the biggest difference in the school system is the way regular Spanish classrooms are conducted. The teacher goes to the front of the classroom and lectures continuously to the rest of the class rather than interacting with it. Furthermore, the Spanish use a 1-10 grading scale which can be difficult to understand and lastly the attendance policy is strict compared to my university. The workload was relatively light compared to my home university but a lot of the grade rides on the final project/paper and final exam.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very good. i was pleased with the trips and the help offered by the staff. They were phenomenal

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The cafes were lovely. Dont be afraid to explore the markets and grocercy stores. Remember spain loves Jamon!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The Pyrenees trip was incredible, I definitively recommend it.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Just remember there are pickpockets and everything goes well. THe university was fantastic when I had a health question

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Spanish is not necessary in Barcelona but it is extremely useful. Also, Catalan is spoken in Barcelona.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Trips
  • UPF
  • Staff
* What could be improved?
  • housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Immerse yourself, step outside the American boundaries and explore the city during the day and night.