A New Experience: Barcelona Past Review

By (International Economics & Finance, Austin College) for

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an entirely new perspective during my stay in Barcelona.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, CEA Global Education
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Depending on your program, your classes will be located in different locations. As part of the International Business Program, I had to split my classes with the home campus and UAB. I enjoyed my UAB experience very much due to the interaction of many multinational students. Classes in the Global Campus was fine and the professors are all adequate. IT is just that the student quality severely drops in the Global Campus.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It definitely has experience but the facilities were somewhat lacking. Although the Global Campus Idea is nice, I believe it is better to just study at a local university full time.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

As you know, most apartments in Barcelona do not have A/C. So do not expect a nice apartment with all the amenities. The apartment was furnished in the most basic matter. My apartment did have some issues with the boiler and such but it was fixed soon.

* Food:

Paella, pasta, pizza, seafood, etc, are the premium here. Bocadillos (their version of sandwiches) can be too bland to some.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Excursions were fun especially going to a game for FC Barcelona. Some excursions require a deposit but it was returned to you after the event. It is just that if you sign up for an excursion and don't come, you will be barred from all future excursions during your stay. There were festivals during my stay that was memorable as well. Barcelona is also one of the nightclub capitals in the world.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Pick-pocketing is well known in Barcelona so be careful when it comes to your wallet or purse. I had medical insurance during my stay and access to a doctor when needed.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Had roughly 3700 dollars which was suitable but that would not be enough to travel too much outside the country.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If expecting to travel to many other countries, the cost will be tremendous.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 202
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

The best way is to interact with the local populous. Of course this would have to depend on your own speaking level but practicing will always be the best way to learn the language. All of my classes, sans Spanish, was taught in English. However some people are too scared to talk in Spanish but that is their problem.

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

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursions are all free
  • Meeting new people
* What could be improved?
  • Stiffer selection of students
  • A cooking class (will be implemented in the future as well)
  • Homestay availbility (will be implemented in the future I hear)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? When in Rome, do what the Romans do. If you can't adapt, well......have fun.