Best decision of my life! May 01, 2018

By (Psychology and Education, Stockton University) - 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 am so much more independent now, I learned how to plan trips, book flights, adapt in new countries, speak a different language, and so much more. It was all worthwhile and it was hands down the best decision I have ever made!

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 took classes at UPF and CEA. The three classes that I took at UPF were Intermediate Spanish, Neurosciences for Humanities, and Spain in the Cinema. UPF courses are very challenging because UPF is the top University in Spain. However I really learned a lot form them, especially in Spanish. At CEA I took Contemporary Architecture in Barcelona and it was a great way to learn about the city and the architecture around the city.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CEA staff in Barcelona is fantastic! They are so helpful and make you feel comfortable. They were a huge help to me throughout my study abroad semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a Residencia with one roommate and it was great! It is very similar to a hotel and the people at the front desk are very helpful. It was also nice having a washer and dryer in our building. There were many other study abroad students living in my Residencia, which was fun. We lived above a food market, which was super convent. My only complaint was not having an oven. We also had a roof top pool which was so great once the weather got nice!

* Food:

The food in Barcelona Spain is so great! I loved it because there are so many different options.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated with the local Spanish culture mainly because 3 out of my 4 classes were taken at a Spanish University. I also met a decent amount of locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not need any healthcare while abroad.

* Safety:

Barcelona is safe during the day, however at night it can be a little sketchy, I would only walk outside at night if one of my male friends was with me. There is also a ton of pick pocketing (I got my phone stolen), but there is almost never any violent crime.

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

CEA is so great! The on site staff in Barcelona was so kind and helpful. We also had many different excursions included in our tuition which was awesome. Some of them were weekend trips to Valencia and Madrid, Tapas cooking class, winery tour, Stiges Girona and Besalu day trip, and many more!

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 found it very easy to live on a student's budget. The food in Spain is very cheap!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It was different every week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take the aero bus to the airport, and use the metro instead of cabs. Also booking flights in advance saved me so much money, and while booking flights go on incognito mode or open a private window so the prices do not go up.

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

UPF really encouraged me to use my 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 3 (High School)
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? Participate a lot in class, and go to extra help if you feel like you're getting behind.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Excursions
  • Professors/Staff
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Off Site Staff in Arizona
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That in the beginning it will be scary and new, but once you adjust to a new culture you will absolutely fall in love with it!

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.