Semester in Barcelona Past Review

By (International Relations & Political Science, Wellesley College) for

CIEE: Barcelona - Advanced Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, definitely. There are just aspects I would have changed, particularly after hearing about other students' experiences.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Sociology of Law, International Protection of Human Rights, Economic Policy
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had an unpleasant experience in terms of academics. CIEE did not accurately advise me and I ended up taking classes that were way beyong my level. Professors in the university are not very accessible. The work load was managable--only final exams--though this puts a lot of stress at the end of the semester.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CIEE's Barcelona program was not as well prepared for the Advanced Liberal Arts (ALA) program as I was expecting. I believe this was either their first or second time having an ALA program in addition to the regular Liberal Arts program, and from what I understand the other was much more pleasant to participate in. I was allowed to enroll in classes that were too advanced for me--for instance, I took a third-year law course.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was placed with a woman, her boyfriend, and her cousin in an apartment across the street from the Arc de Triomf. I loved the family and the location. We later moved to an apartment further north, in an area called Gracia. I enjoyed being able to live in two different neighborhoods in Barcelona (though the moving part was a little inconvenient). They were wonderful people and great cooks! I did not have to bring anything and they provided all my meals.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I felt fairly well prepared in terms of expenses.


* 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? Spanish 242
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I loved living with a host family. This was my major source of practice. The program's attempts at organizing events with both Spanish and American students was not particularly effective.

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

  • International Students