Viva la Espana! Past Review

By (Journalism, Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge) for

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was an incredibly fulfilling experience both culturally and academically. I walked away with a broadened perspective on our world and its incredible and different people all while learning to speak Spanish fluently! I'd do it again tomorrow if given the opportunity!

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.

You get what you give in this case! If you put your focus on the academic aspect of the trip, you will learn a lot. If you focus on the social aspect, you may struggle a bit if you're taking difficult classes. Overall, the academic challenge met my expectations and challenged me just enough to feel like I left with some achievements in my college credits.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The people, especially teachers and coordinators at CEA Barcelona were one of my main reaons my experience was organized and fulfilling. Everyone was laid back but serious about you getting the benefits of your time abroad!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a flat on Aribau, close to the University of Barcelona. I absolutely LOVED the apartment I shared with 5 other American college students. CEA placed us perfectly based on our personality surveys, and we were very compatable. I walked to CEA every day, about 15-20 minute walk, super convenient! My favorite part was the size and authenicity of the apartment...I miss it all the time!

* Food:

I LOVE food...and in Barcelona, there is a HUGE variety of choices. Even the pickest eaters can find their American favorites, but if you're into the authentic foods, you'll be pleased too. I loved pajella and hopping around to various tapas places. Sangria is always in order :).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved CEA's planned bike tours and other educational, tourism appeals. We went to a real, live Flamenco show in the cozy basement of restaurant/bar, and I really enjoyed it. There is a MASSIVE array of things to do in Barcelona: hundreds of places to go out for high energy people or low-key music goers, outdoors hiking, the beach, literally everything you could ever want to do in one city! I remember one night the CEA students went to listen to live jazz music in the park, then we popped cava (champagne) on the beach later that night. My favorite part of the entire trip though was going to San Sebastian one weekend. It was magical. And, on our free weekend, my friends and I went to Seville...also an extremely memorable experience. No regrets except that I couldn't stay longer!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Ultimately, it's not up to CEA to take care of you...you're on your own in a new place, but CEA is there to help during any emergencies. As a young girl, I was timid about walking around Barcelona at certain times of the day in certain areas...just be aware.

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)

Language

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

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 do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you want to travel abroad with the comfort of American college students doing the same thing you are and you want to be in a place where the people are friendly and vibrant and full of life...GO TO BARCELONA CEA. It truly had the perfect balance of academic and social life all while experiencing a new culture. I loved wandering around the city exploring new tastes, smells, sights, people...I'm still friends with the people I met on CEA, and I would recommend this trip to anyone. Only advice I have is to continue traveling while abroad or choose to study for a semester rather than a short term.