I Had an Amazing Time in Barcelona! Past Review

By (Champlain College) - abroad from 09/06/2017 to 12/21/2017 with

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My time abroad taught me so much about other cultures and opened my world to new people, places, and experiences. I feel that I am much more open-minded to trying new things. I now have a bunch of international friends and have learned a lot about other cultures. My study abroad experience was very worthwhile because I feel much more knowledgeable than I was before.

Review Photos

CEA: Barcelona, Spain Photo

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.

I had a really great educational experience with CEA. I am really happy with the classes I took and everything that I learned with the program. I think the classes did a great job of incorporating the host city of Barcelona into the education which helped me to become more knowledgeable about the culture. I thought that most of the class expectations are not quite as challenging as my home university but overall it was still a great experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CEA staff were really helpful before I arrived in Barcelona and during my stay there. There was always someone willing to help me with any questions or problems that arose.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I love that CEA offers a homestay option. I lived with a host family and I am very glad that I made that decision because it helped me become more immersed in the culture.

* Food:

This isn't really applicable to the program but the food in Barcelona, and Europe in general, is great! Because I stayed with a host family, I was provided with 3 meals a day.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because the program is mostly American students, it is easy to get caught in the bubble. But CEA provides many opportunities to integrate yourself with the local culture and it is up to you to take them. I am happy with my experience because I took many opportunities to meet locals and learn more about the culture of Barcelona.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I don't have a lot of information about this but when I was sick, I called CEA and a staff member advised me on what to do and what medicine to get at the pharmacy.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Barcelona. The apartment that CEA placed me in was in a very nice area of the city so that I felt very safe walking around alone, even at night. CEA was very good about keeping students updated on the political situation of Catalonia. Even with the political unrest going on, I never felt unsafe during my stay there.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

My overall experience studying abroad was wonderful. I am super pleased with everything that I learned and accomplished. The CEA program was great in helping me achieve this.

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)

I think this really depends. Because I stayed with a host family and had meals provided, I could easily have spent very little money. However, at the same time I wanted to travel, go to places around the city, and enjoy the food, which are all part of the experience of being abroad. Because of this, I ended up spending more than I would have liked.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? This really depended on whether I was traveling. I think probably on average, about $100 per week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't take taxis - there are plenty of public transportation options in almost every city, especially Barcelona. Every time you can save some money, it is worth it in the long run.

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

I had one Spanish class and this was taught all in Spanish, but other than that, my classes were in English. I did stay with a host family so that was good for practicing Spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? In high school, I took Spanish 4.
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? Staying with a host family is a great option. I would also suggest taking opportunities that allow you to meet locals and to practice the language with them.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The classes fit in really well with my education at my home university.
  • There were a lot of activities and opportunities to become immersed in the culture.
* What could be improved?
  • I kind of wish there were more classes offered in Spanish because it would be a great way to learn the language better. Some programs require students to speak in only Spanish and this is really beneficial for learning the language.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think I would have been a little better about spending money during the semester because I know that I could easily have spent less than I did. Otherwise, I can't really think of anything that I wish I had done differently.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Architecture and Painting of Barcelona

Course Department: Art History
Instructor: Jordi Gorriz
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was my favorite class of the semester because I really enjoyed learning about the four artists that the course covered: Gaudi, Picasso, Miro, and Dali. Our class visited two of Gaudi's buildings and two museums so that we could study the works in person. I loved being able to learn from these field studies rather than a textbook. The course related the material to the city of Barcelona really well. I feel that I have learned a lot about Barcelona's history as well as the art. The teacher was very knowledgeable about the subject. I thought this course was challenging because there was a lot of outside work involved, but the intensity was similar to courses at my home university.
Credit Transfer Issues: