Staycation Past Review

By (Neurobiology and Neurosciences., Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/21/2013 to 05/29/2013 with

CIEE: Barcelona - Advanced Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
it was a wonderful experience of freedom and self-discovery in a different environment

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.

enjoyed classes offered by the program, but classes at the local university were structured very differently from classes in the US. Little to no student participation in class, and the professors read the entire lecture off of a script. Professors could talk for 90 minutes about a book without once referencing or quoting from the book/author.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very organized

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Intercambios were poorly conducted, guardian angels were not invested in the program

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no personal experience with health care

* Safety:

The city is very safe, although there are rude people in the street that can make you feel uncomfortable, I never felt like I was in danger

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Barcelona is an expensive city for food and activities

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-150 on average, including travel
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Avoid buying alcohol anywhere but the super market


* 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

But didn't offer many opportunities

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? college
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? the program really leaves it up to the individual to integrate into local culture and make local friends. My host family was my best resource. Try to make one or two close local friends instead of many

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Independence
  • Location
  • Other students
* What could be improved?
  • Administration
  • Program activities
  • involvement
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? classes are not the best way to improve language skills (other than listening) interaction with locals is very helpful vicky christina barcelona is a lot more realistic than it first appears

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.