CIS Barcelona - Can I go back please?? Past Review

By (Fine Arts, University of Wisconsin - Madison) for

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Semester in Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish was greatly improved. Since I have returned home, I have started taking Flamenco guitar lessons to preserve some of the culture I loved being a part of. Because of my amazing experience in Barcelona, I wish to live abroad again. As a Fine Arts major, I was able to fulfill some of my requirements to graduate back at home. And also, as an artist, the city's architecture (Gaudi) and artist culture is infectious.

Review Photos

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Barcelona - The Barcelona Semester Photo

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.

The grading system was fair. The in-class workload was focused and well organized. I was extremely happy that they did not burden us with much out of class homework. Their philosophy was that we should be exploring and experiencing all that Barcelona and Spanish culture had to offer.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My program was well organized and well staffed. The small size of the program (roughly 30 students) made the student/teacher ratio amazing and the interactions with my classmates intimate. We became a tightly-knit bunch quickly, and I still am in contact with many of them today.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment I lived in was nice, clean, and near enough public transit that the entire city was readily accessible. There were "cooler" areas to live in, but that was just a lottery. I lived in a safe neighborhood, that was not too far away from anything.

* Food:

I loved the food in Barcelona. It took a little while for my stomach to get used to all of the cured pork they eat over there, but now I crave tapas, bocadillos, gofres....Mmmmm

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My program planned a trip to Sevilla. There also was another trip to Morocco that I did not attend. Most of my traveling was independently planned with the friends I made on my program. I liked that they did not schedule too much and gave us the freedom to plan our own adventures.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Barcelona is notorious for pick-pocketing in touristy areas. Still, you learn very quickly what kind of activity might get you into trouble (and in what areas most trouble occurs). If you are smart, you really are very safe. I enjoyed walking around the city streets many nights alone (although my program would recommend to walk with at least one friend...and I would agree). The local healthcare system is a bit different than it is over here in the states. I basically wasted 60 euros going to see a doctor who didn't even check my throat for strep, but just told me to go to a pharmacy. There was no prescription necessary, and the amoxicillin only was 2.50 euros. All in all, my health was taken care of, but I did find it surprising that the general population would go to a pharmacy before seeing a doctor.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

Everyday we had a 2 hour spanish-intensive course. My teacher was Carmen. She never spoke in English, and made the classroom environment welcoming and immersive. It was great.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The city, the people, the food, the culture, the language...can I keep going?
* What could be improved?
  • It would be interesting if this program had connections for work opportunities after graduation.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Anyone who wants to have an adventure, experience a different culture and/or learn Spanish would greatly enjoy and benefit from attending this program. I would highly recommend it!


Dear Danny Spitzer-Cohn, The staff here was thrilled to read about your positive experience in Barcelona! It seems you had an extremely rewarding time. Sincerely, The staff at CISabroad

deleted-1509531057cis March 16, 2012