A Transformative Time. Past Review

By (International and Global Studies and Health Science, Society and Policy, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/27/2016 to 06/02/2016 with

CIEE: Barcelona - Advanced Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became fluent in Spanish an amazing and applicable skill, learning a lot about European culture and history, growing more independent through travel, and making lifelong connections from people throughout the world.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic rigor is seen to be very high, in particular at the university classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was helpful at the beginning but often did not check in on your progress until the end of the semester, at which point it is too late to solve any problems that may have developed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was friendly but were also rather distant. But their location to public transit was ideal.

* Food:

It was difficult to find a variety of vegetarian food, but all the food that I ate I thoroughly enjoyed.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were no health issues that I had to address during this time, however, there were a couple language barriers for one friend that had to visit the hospital.

* Safety:

The city felt very safe throughout my time there.

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

I loved the city of Barcelona and the people I met there while also improving my Spanish skills immensely.


* 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)

If you are a smart shopper and go to the different grocery stores and markets, and prepare lunch it is very easy to live on a student budget. This is not true however if you are going out to dinner, clubs, or other attractions more than once a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 75-100 Euro a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Utilize the different local open air markets that have a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cured meats. And while the menu's del dia are good deals if you take advantage of them too often you will spend more money than expected on food.


* 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

There was a large amount of encouragement to use Spanish throughout the program, and this was especially true while in courses. But often on program trips the language encouragement was not as prevalent as other similar programs.

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? HISP 105, Spanish for Medical Professionals
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? I highly recommend that they not only speak in class but also try to meet locals to practice with and whenever out on the town utilize the Spanish despite most locals understanding English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Language focus
  • The Location
  • The Program professors
* What could be improved?
  • The Transportation(too many strikes)
  • The University class selection
  • The communication between students and administrative staff
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That choosing university classes at UB are vital in your success or lack thereof in the program.

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.