A magical spring in Barcelona Past Review

By (Philosophy., Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/22/2014 to 05/30/2014 with

CIEE: Barcelona - Advanced Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an understanding of the country's character and the views of Catalonia.

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.

Academics were nowhere near Wellesley's, but I'm giving the program a little higher rating because of other obstacles, such as language and adjusting to their system

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family of a mother, father and their three teenage children. They were very accommodating and respectful, but I still always felt like a burden on them. All my other friends in the program who lived with families had great experiences.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

CIEE did a great job of making us feel included in the culture of the country and city.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got a little sick in the middle of the program and my host mother gave me medicine.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Barcelona. I had heard horror stories of pick-pocketing, but I did not personally have such an experience. A couple of my friends had their purses/phones stolen in crowded areas, but I think it can easily be avoided by keeping a hand on your things at all times and being super diligent.

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)

It is very possible if you don't make large purchases like travel tickets or a lot of clothes because you really only have to pay for lunch and maybe snacks. The reality is you end up spending more than you thought you would.


* 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? 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? Span 242
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Meet local people and keep in touch throughout the semester.

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
  • 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?
  • Smart participants
  • Caring professors, administrators
  • Cultural activities
* What could be improved?
  • Timely communicatoin between directors and students
  • Academic support
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take advantage of most opportunities because you want new experiences, but don't feel obligated to. Making a budget is a necessity. It is easy to feel like time has stopped when you are away from Wellesley, but it's important to remain engaged with the community because you will be back and applying to programs and internships is difficult when you are removed from that atmosphere.

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 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.