Worth It Past Review

By (Anthropology, Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/02/2015 to 12/21/2015 with

CIEE: Barcelona - Advanced Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Spanish and friends. Yes.

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.

I didn't find the program particularly rigorous in terms of the CIEE classes, but the academic resources they provided were excellent.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I really appreciated the support given to us by the administrative staff in Barcelona, but found some of the rules and interactions a bit condescending which was frustrating.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my home stay, but would have considered living in an apartment had I understood the homestay rules beforehand (no cooking, no drinking, no guests, etc)

* Food:

Again, loved the homestay and the food. Luckily my host parents understood my need to cook for myself and allowed me to, but otherwise I would have been stuck eating out or eating sandwiches for every meal that wasn't dinner. And dinner is not a main meal in Spain.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Only through my host family.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any issues.

* Safety:

Honestly a bit overzealous on the safety front.

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

I didn't particularly like a lot of parts of the program, but I had an amazing time in Barcelona and made great (american) friends that I think I will know for a long time.


* 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)

Because I had food provided through my home stay and Barcelona is a relatively cheap city, once I got the hang of things it was easy to budget. My budget was 60 euros/week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Decide how much money you are going to spend per week, take out that x3 and divide it up for three weeks and only allow yourself to use that money. ATM fees are expensive and it's easy to get ahead of yourself. After the first few weeks, adjust the number if necessary. This way some weeks you have all your money left over and can treat yourself and some weeks you don't.


* 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

Always all the time.

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? Spanish AP (heritage speaker)
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk to people in Spanish. All the time. With your friends. Also Spanglish. Read books.

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living in Barcelona
  • Host Family
  • Weekend Trips
* What could be improved?
  • Integration into university
  • Housing option clarity
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known more about my home institutions credit transfer policy.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'