Best semester of my life Past Review

By (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania) - abroad from 09/01/2016 to 12/17/2016 with

IES Abroad: Barcelona - Study Abroad with IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. It has been the most enriching semester of college I've had. I learn how to be more independent and adventurous. I learned how to be a better time manager too. But mostly, I learned how important it is to be a global citizen. I realized how big and diverse this world is and how important it is to be aware and accepting of other cultures.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Barcelona - Study Abroad with IES Abroad Photo IES Abroad: Barcelona - Study Abroad with IES Abroad Photo IES Abroad: Barcelona - Study Abroad with IES Abroad Photo IES Abroad: Barcelona - Study Abroad with IES Abroad Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was a great apartment and a lovely, safe neighborhood! It was just a little far from the center.

* Food:

The food in Barcelona is outstanding! I had to do my own cooking and grocery shopping, but food is very affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I only interaction I really had with locals were people at restaurants and markets. I had the option to take classes at a local university, but I decided not to do that.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got a very bad cold towards the end of the semester. The study affairs office said I just needed to go to this one walk in clinic and ask for an English speaking doctor, no appointment necessary. When I got there however, I was told that I did in fact need an appointment and there was no English speaking doctor. I ended up waiting hours. Eventually an English speaking nurse came to translate but it was a difficult situation.

* Safety:

IES really informed us on how to be safe in the city. Pick pockets are a big deal there so as long as you stayed aware and took the right precautions, you would likely be okay. I did have a phone stolen and I knew of other people who had things stolen as well. Also, it was important to not ride the train or walk by yourself in the evenings.

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

IES was extremely helpful from day one. They made the pre-departure paperwork, which can be very overwhelming, easy and organized. They answered every question I had within a timely manner. They also offered many actives during the first few weeks and throughout the semester. It gave me the opportunity to meet friends and get acquainted with Barcelona.


* 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)

It was really expensive at first because I had to purchase my metro card and get basics for the apartment that add up in cost but after that it was not too hard to stay to a budget. Eating out is not expensive in Barcelona.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Aprox. €100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get the three month metro pass! But make sure you keep an eye on it because if you lose it, it cannot be replaced. When going to the airport, don't take a cab. Take either the Aero Bus that leaves from Plasa Calaunya every five minutes or take the metro. It takes more time but will save you a lot of money. Also, for lunch, walk a few streets away from Plasa Catalunya, where food will be a lot cheaper.


* 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

Our Spanish teacher will help us learn common phrases ("How much is this?" "May I have my check, please?" "Can I have a coffee to go?") to implement into our every day life.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish II
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? Just do it! Don't be embarrassed. If locals see that you're trying, they are likely to be much nicer to you and more patient.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Location
  • Organization
  • Classmates
* What could be improved?
  • Finals week schedule
  • Flexibility with classes
  • Study spaces
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How many people were going to be in my program. I thought, for some reason, that there would be a small number of us. I didn't mind the size once I got there, but it would have been nice to know ahead of time.

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.