Studying Abroad in Barcelona: A Perfect Experience Past Review

By (Environmental Studies, University of Northern British Columbia) for

CEA: Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a confidence with a second language that I never thought I would have had. This study abroad program opened my eyes to the magic of traveling and meeting people who live in other countries, faced with different realities. Living in another big city in the world (Toronto - Barcelona) made me realize the similarities and differences between the American and European lifestyle. I definitely have more of an inclination to be involved with Spanish culture and language in the future, and plan to go back to Barcelona as soon as I can.

Review Photos

CEA Global Education: Barcelona, Spain Photo CEA Global Education: Barcelona, Spain Photo CEA Global Education: Barcelona, Spain Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The two courses I took, Intermediate Spanish and Spanish History, were very helpful in making me feel more comfortable in Spain from the get-go. The Spanish language course immediately gave me the confidence to speak to people in Barcelona on a daily basis, and the History course allowed me to feel less like a tourist, and look at the country from a different perspective.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration in Barcelona were extremely helpful with everything we could have needed as students and travelers. They helped with picking and changing classes. They were understanding and flexible. They were always available, as their office was inside the building that housed our classes. They had an in-depth knowledge about Barcelona and the other cities we traveled to. They helped plan side trips, and gave great directions and advice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartment was in a prime location, and was safe. I lived with two other girls, and we had sheets and cooking utensils and bathroom necessities. The apartment was a few subway stops from class, but it was fun to experience the city this way.

* Food:

I personally did not like the food in Spain. There was a lot of raw and strangely prepared seafood, and Barcelona did not have many international cuisine options (i.e. Chinese, American, Indian). I would advice future students to go grocery shopping and cook tasty meals at home more often than not.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

During the time I was there my program was able to travel to Pampalona to watch the Running of the Bulls. Obviously this was a huge cultural experience, and my memories of it are amazing. We also traveled to the northern beach town, San Sebastian, which was ecologically and structurally beautiful.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The program seemed to take care of people safety and health wise when they needed it and with confidence and compassion.

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)

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I had to use the language I learned in class everyday, from the moment I woke up, to the time in class, to the time after class when I would explore the city. I practiced Spanish constantly during the days spent in Spain.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living in the city of Barcelona and traveling around Spain as a group
* What could be improved?
  • If the program could attract more than just American students (I was the only Canadian out of 100 American students), that would provide for a better experience for the students I believe
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is a great way to learn Spanish, to experience one of the best countries in Europe, and to open their eyes to the magic of traveling and meeting new people.