The Bittersweetness of Barcelona Past Review

By (Film/Video and Photographic Arts., Ithaca College) for

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad changed me in many ways. After the first month I ended up dating a girl in another study abroad program so on top of learning the language of Spain and loving the culture, I was able to find out more about myself since I was in my first relationship. I wish to go back to Barcelona now because feel I know the city like the back of my hand. Studying abroad isn't easy at first, but I would encourage anyone with the passion to see the world to do it.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Work was quite easy, teachers were all very nice and welcoming. Homework consisted of readings, papers, and midterms and finals.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CEA was a good program in the fact that they gave their students lots of freedom within the city. The supervisors of the program loved the city and even though the workload wasn't much, CEA most of the things we asked of them - most of which were just problems with our apartments.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartment was quite a wreck at first - lots of flooding from the shower - but eventually CEA helped us

* Food:

I shopped and cooked my own food which was my first real experience in cooking for myself. I discovered a love to cook and sit down and eat a large dinner with friends, even if it consisted of just bread, wine, and cheese.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Our weekend in Madrid was eventful but the city was to difficult to explore in 2 days.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Healthcare was fine - I didn't get sick once. But for safety, many students were mugged since Barcelona is the pick pocket capital of the world. I witnessed a girl get her Iphone taken right out of her hand.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent around 10- 20 euro a day, but if I went out it would be around 15 to 25 euro.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring a credit card strictly for traveling to other countries

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

My friends living in the city, the locals I met through my friends. Most people spoke english but it was fun speaking frequent spanish throughout the day.

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

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't just travel every weekend, explore the entire city, even the small parts. On spring break, go see the rest of the country.