Barcelona, the cosmopolitan center of the world Past Review

By (Economics., Wellesley College) for

CIEE: Barcelona - Economics and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Having just spent the summer in Southern and Central America encouraged me to discover a lot of the similarities and differences between the cultures, their origins and uniqueness. Studying abroad in Spain not only helped me satisfy these curiosities but also encouraged new ones. The courses I took while studying abroad reflected these interests and were further expanded by them. While the overall plan for my future has not been altered, it has definitely been enriched by my time spent studying abroad.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Compared to Wellesley, the workload I received from Universitat de Pompeu Fabra and the CIEE office was not even half. Grading however was a lot more rigorous and straight forward.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It was difficult to gain access to resources when I needed them through my program. I had a lot of issues regarding the way my professors were handling academic integrity and certain certain logistics that didn't make sense. I tried to contact my program on multiple occasions an in a few I was fully ignored. However, with enough insistence, they finally got the point. The program knew well both the American system of learning as well as the host country's, which helped a lot at times. My program was small enough (10 people) that it was easy to meet and get to know each other well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

I cooked for myself and therefore was able to accommodate for all my eating habits at a fair price.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was able to visit Madrid, Toledo, Besalu, Sitges and a winery. All these trips were arranged by the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

My host's city overall safety was astonishing. Even late at night, it was completely safe to be walking around on your own. The only thing to keep an eye out for is pick pocketers.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 150 for food and personal expenses
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Using the metro is not the cheapest way around town. Each trip is 1.50 euros, each way. I thought I would use public transportation more than I actually did. My gym membership was also quite pricy but well worth it.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Multiple seminars in the language.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I would encourage students to make an effort to meet local people and or stay with a family in order to practice the language. Most of the students in my courses and program spoke in english.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The quality of students in my program.
  • The local people I was able to meet.
  • The city.
* What could be improved?
  • The caliber of the professors.
  • Knowledge of the more logistical processes at the host institution.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student who is willing to be adventurous, who likes living in a city, is open minded and curious enough to explore would be an ideal candidate for this program.