Study Abroad Barcelona March 19, 2018

By (University of California - Berkeley) - abroad from 01/03/2018 to 04/28/2018 with

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and the world around me during my experience abroad. I would definitely recommend study abroad to any student looking to explore the world and get outside of his/her comfort zone.

Personal Information

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.

CEA provides all the necessary resources, such as computers, study spaces, front desk services, etc. Courses are relevant and do not require too much time spent outside the classroom. Assignments are fair, however grading can sometimes be subjective and slightly harsh.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CEA staff is ready and willing to help students at all times. I had a number of housing issues (i.e. leaky window, broken gas) and the staff was responsive and took care of the problems right away.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I am incredibly satisfied with the housing CEA provided. I live in an apartment with 5 other students and was able to make roommate requests, which CEA honored. My apartment is only a 10 minute walk from the CEA center and a 20 minute metro ride from University of Vic where I also take classes. It was fully furnished and CEA provided us with kitchen and cleaning supplies, as well as preliminary soap, detergent, etc. Although we have had a few problems with the heating, water, and windows, CEA was able to deal with these problems right away.

* Food:

Barcelona has incredible food from all around the world and prices range from cheap eats to expensive tasting menus.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to participate in a language exchange program with CEA and have been trying to speak Spanish whenever possible, however I have not had much exposure to locals besides small day-to-day interactions.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I have not had any health care issues but CEA provides health insurance and is able to organize medical appointments within 24 hours.

* Safety:

In terms of physical safety, Barcelona is pretty safe, however pickpocketing is a large issue. I would suggest carrying a purse that zips shut and keeping it in front of your body at all time, as well as always walking in groups and being aware of your surroundings.

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

CEA made my study abroad experience great in all aspects!

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? $
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? • Cook your own meals • Check for student discounts • Some museums, etc. have free time slots during the week

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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish literature
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? • Take a language course • Talk to waiters, bartenders, cab drivers, etc.

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
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
  • Excursions
  • Courses offered
* What could be improved?
  • Grading
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that since CEA is a larger program you have to make an effort to get to know other students. Smaller programs naturally facilitate relationships amongst students but a larger program necessitates initiative outside the classroom.