Barcelona is the most amazing city in the world, CEA was not the best program Past Review

By (Quinnipiac University) - abroad from 01/13/2016 to 04/30/2016 with

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad was the most amazing experience of my life. While the program was not my favorite, Barcelona is an amazing city with so much to offer. I have no regrets about studying abroad. I learned how to become more independent, learned a lot about other cultures and how to adapt, and learned a lot about myself and others around me.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes themselves were very easy. I did not like any of my teachers at CEA though. Many did not give good grades. It was very hard to get a's, even when I believed I deserved them. I mainly got b's in all of my classes, and I found my teachers taking off points on assignments when they couldn't explain why. Also the program is very strict with absences. I understand why they have to have an attendance policy, but I got seriously injured at the end of the semester after I used all of my absences, and they dropped my grades each by a letter grade for missing too much class even though I was in the hospital. They are very unreasonable when it comes to special circumstances.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Residencia. Very nice facilities. I had my own room and bathroom and shared a kitchen with 8 other American students at CEA. The only thing I didn't like was that it was kind of hard to meet people since it was more like a hotel where we were all separated, rather than having a shared common room in the middle. I had to make more of an effort to meet people.

* Food:

CEA does not include food in the program, but the food in Barcelona is decently priced and there are many markets around the city if you like cooking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

CEA is all American students so it is hard to meet people through the school. I had one class at the local business school so was able to meet people through there. CEA offers volunteering programs and language exchanges, but I did not participate in them.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

CEA did assist me when I had an issue and they went to the hospital with me. The local healthcare system is similar to what I am used to, but most doctors do not speak English. CEA does provide you with a translator. The only thing that I did not like was that CEA was not very understanding of missing classes for legitimate medical reasons.

* Safety:

Barcelona is a relatively safe city. I never felt scared walking around even at night. Pickpocketing is the biggest issue so always be careful with your belongings. There is rarely violent crime, but you should be careful at night at the clubs.

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

All American students in CEA - everyone was in their own bubble. A lot of people come from the same schools and it is hard to meet friends because everyone is so cliquey. I do not recommend this program if you're coming alone. Most of the people I met seemed very dumb, didn't do their homework, couldn't do the most simple tasks. It made the teachers lose respect for everyone. Most of the people were very unfriendly and judgmental.

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)

Went out to eat a lot, and traveling was much more expensive than I thought it would be.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 300
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to cook more often and book flights in advance. I also recommend staying in Barcelona for some weekends. You might think you want to travel every weekend but its tiring and you want to have enough time in the city you're studying in.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location
  • Variety of class options
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • Friendliness of administration and teachers
  • Grading/attendance policies
  • Friendliness of students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How Americanized CEA is and that the grading policy is different than at home.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.