Happily Confused Past Review

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 09/05/2017 to 12/20/2017 with

CIEE: Barcelona - Economics and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience abroad was more than worthwhile. I traveled out of the country for the first time. I now feel more internationally cultured and aware.

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 culture classes were great, but the classes specific to each program were taught at an introduction level. For example, the economics courses offered through the program for the economics and culture program were not challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was absolutely amazing and helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food wasn't bad. I just didn't like it too much.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had some problems with my vision. The program I studied abroad with referred me to an optometrist and provided me with information on getting compensated through my insurance. The assistance the program provided was what I expected.

* Safety:

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

I would choose the same program, but choose a different host institution and take more classes there.


* 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)

I was able to set a good budget ($150) for each week considering the currency exchange (dollar to euro). I never felt like I couldn't participate in an activity because I didn't have enough money, but I did sometimes refrain from expensive activities/dinners in order to save a bit.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $75. I was living in a homestay that provided breakfast, dinner, and sometimes lunch.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Set a budget that is a little bit lower that what you think is appropriate. After you set a budget, withdraw the weekly allowance from your bank. Having the money in hand rather than in your bank account prevents you from over-swiping and spending too much.


* 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? Advanced
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? The foreign language was my first language. However, as a native speaker I still strugggled in some areas.
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? Talk to your friends in the foreign language, especially if they know the language more than you! They can help with any mistakes without embarrassing you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Location
  • My host family
  • Program-sponsored activities
* What could be improved?
  • Rigor of courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known the demographics of the program beforehand.

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.'