Barcelona: Una Ciudad con belleza, historia, divertida, y cultura! Una experiencia unica! Past Review

By (HISTORY., Barnard College) for

CIEE: Barcelona - Advanced Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was very worthwhile experience. I learned about myself, the culture and Spanish life. I highly recommend going abroad. Not only does it broaden your horizons, but it's such a unique point in your life in that you have a built it time to explore, travel, have fun, and engage in the world around you with the encouragement of your university and parents!! I might go abroad after college because of it, and it has certainly made me more excited to travel the world and learn about those different from me.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: University of Barcelona
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I thought that my program did a really good job, although I know other people would disagree. They were very helpful when I was pickpocketed in Barcelona and even lent me money to help me get back on my feet as I was waiting for my credit cards in the mail. I also really appreciated how ALA cultivated a community of students who took perfecting their Spanish seriously and truly respected the Barcelona/Catalan culture while still wanting to have fun. We had a wonderful group of students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in the Eixample region of Barcelona with a lovely family. We lived in an apartment building, and although my room was small, it was all I needed. <br /><br /> My host parents were amazing-I can't recommend them enough. They were kind and interesting people who helped improve my language skills dramatically. My host parents always set out breakfast for me in the mornings, and we would eat delicious dinners together in the evening. They cared for me when I was sick, they let my sister stay in the home when she visited, and they took care of me when I was pick-pocketed. I loved them.

* Food:

The food was beyond delicious. I loved the way my parents cooked. I also don't eat pork, and they fully respected that and never imposed it onto me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Barcelona is such a fun, vibrant city. There was always something to do--attending museums, eating paella, drinking sangria, dancing in clubs. The city has it all and more-I couldn't be more satisfied.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt like my life was in danger. However, the pick-pocketing is a real issue in Barcelona. I was pick-pocketed twice unfortunately, and there were many similar stories like this in my program. Watch your bags!!

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It's really easy to spend money in Barcelona. That was another reason I had wished I had tutored english while I was abroad; it would have been nice to make some sort of income while I was there.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I took Hispanic Cultures I, which, I believe, is a three thousand level course.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced my language in many spheres. I lived with a host family and ate with them almost every night. I also took all of my classes in Spanish and took notes, exams, and wrote as long as a 25 page paper in Spanish. I also would socialize with local Spaniards.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Local Students