Beautiful Struggle Past Review

By (Communications, University of San Diego) - abroad from 01/07/2014 to 04/24/2014 with

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to survive in unfortunate situations. At one point my computer was broken, phone and money stolen, metro card gone, etc...i went two weeks without much. I learned everyone has different norms and you have to work through that.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Barcelona is a very international destination (despite the lack of any Black people) and so I tried to integrate myself but you usually just get seen as just another tourist. Once it starts getting warmer towards the end, the city is literally swarmed with tourists, but by then you start to feel like a local. To really feel integrated you have to make a serious effort, otherwise youll end up with all Americans.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Besides this being the number one destination for pickpocketing, I always felt safe.

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

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 a struggle

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? i spent less because im pretty frugal, hard to stay cheap, not sure
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Be careful about how much youre spending at first if you dont have crazy rich parent unlimited money. I spent whenever I wanted at first and then realized how much that converted to, becuase youre paying in euros, so everything intrinsically is more expensive. Dont eat out more than 2 or 3 times a week, go to the free dinners that some of the clubs host.

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? 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? 4 years high school, 1 year in college
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? Start conversations in Spanish, do your best to speak with an accent. Even when you do, theyll be able to tell youre foreign, so theyll understand to an extent and try to help you. Many people here speak english, or broken english so they will want to practice it. But this is your time abroad so kindly make it known that you want to speak in spanish by continuing to do so when they speak in english to you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • the cea staff was the bomb, they were so sweet and helpful
* What could be improved?
  • I heard another program will give you a deposit of 200€ if something happens, and then you pay them back. That would have been a lifesaver when I lost everything.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how Americanized this city was, and that the majority of kids on this program came here to party. I did not.I was told that there is a nightlife in Barcelona, however no one told me how all encompasing it would be. Nightlife is everything. People in this program go out every single night, and that attracts a certain type of a person. I desperately wish i had known this ahead of time: I also chose to come to Barcelona over Madrid because I was told it might be more cultural, and maybe it is, but not in the city where we stay. Also mention how it only gets warm in the last few weeks of your stay.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Global Politics - Time For Change?

Course Department:
Instructor: Eduard Cantos
Instruction Language: English
Comments: TAKE THIS CLASS. The teacher is the most adorable, sweetest man. This class has probably been my favorite class since starting college. All of the material was extremely relevant, and information everyone should know. I hated missing this class because I respect the teacher so much and the material was so interesting. This class teaches you the type of things all classes should teach.
Credit Transfer Issues: