Castellano y la playa Past Review

By (Hispanic Studies and Education Studies, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/21/2013 to 06/03/2013 with

CIEE: Barcelona - Advanced Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much in regards to language skills and confidence speaking Spanish. It was absolutely worthwhile.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CIEE house staff cared. Although they were disorganized, everything seemed to come together in the end.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Wonderful host mother and host sisters. I lived in a nice, modern apartment within walking distance to the University, CIEE, popular spots.

* Food:

My host mom was a good cook. I felt like I wasn't fed enough veggies, but others felt the opposite so it just depends on the family.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt like it was generally pretty challenging to integrate with locals, but if you are a native speaker or are determined to meet locals you certainly can do so. I spent quite a bit of time with my teenage host sisters.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There is a health coordinator at CIEE and you just email them and they make you an appointment at the local clinic.

* Safety:

Generally safe as long as you follow obvious standard precautions.

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


* 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 isn't as expensive as Paris, but it is the Euro so you need go with solid savings. You need to pay for lunch, travel (within the city, area and around Europe) and miscellaneous expenses. I say go with at least $3000 in savings, most people had more. I had less and I had to turn down several trips and eat baguettes and nutella for lunch every day.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Book trips within the first few weeks you are there. Grocery shop for snacks so you aren't eating as restaurants every day. But, most importantly, SAVE before you go.


* 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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 106
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? Don't be afraid to use the language wherever you go day to day in Barcelona. Also, we all spoke Spanish i our program so we would speak interchangeably in Spanish and English even when we were just hanging out.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Cohort- The other students in my program were smart, fun and not afraid to use their knowledge of spanish
  • Classes with locals.
  • Exploring Catalunia
* What could be improved?
  • CIEE Staff team organization
  • There weren't reviews of classes, so some people got stuck in some awful classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't stress too much about getting situated at Universitat of Barcelona, it all falls into place in the end. Save more money!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.