If you want a cheesy slogan, it's not happening - I would love to live in Barcelona again Past Review

By (Spanish & Communications, DePaul University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I love the Spanish language, I love Barcelona, I loved my time abroad. It was professional, yet laid back & the instructors were younger, allowing cultural anxiety to be almost nonexistent. I ended up going on to major in spanish & communications & this course definitely helped me determine that path.

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.

My professor was AWESOME - she was totally understandable, broke it down efficiently & all around, a really great teacher.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Cute, young & relatable administrators picked us up from the airport, exciting everybody & setting the tone for the trip. They were awesome. Sadly, though, at the end I had a friend who was having issues with her host mom & they were unsympathetic & it really put a strain on things. The girl was 'kicked out' of her house 2 days early for really no reason at all & they refused to believe her.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I went with my best friend (she studied at Lincoln, Nebraska & I went to DePaul - this program was great middle ground) & we were hosted by a single, really old spanish woman. My friend has severe asthma & we were supposed to be paired with a nonsmoker, but Rafaela was always sneaking smokes in the stairwell.. she thought we couldn't tell. It ended up being more funny than anything, because she was such a spitfire. She had beds set up for us, cooked dinner every night & treated us with a descent amount of respect, though she would often make snide comments about our shopping expenditures/shoot down Americans for being to materialistic. We really didn't go shopping all that much & it was evident she was assuming a preconceived stereotype.. Perhaps she had watched to much of 'my sweet 16' & other awful shows that portray US citizens as rich brats

* Food:


* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

we went to a winery that some people really enjoyed (i though it was boring) but it was near a breathtaking coastal town (sitges) which we later visited again outside of the program. - - we mostly did cultural field trips outside of the directors plans

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

i live in chicago, so their seminars on pickpocketing were old news.. nothing else really needed to be addressed

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?

Almost everybody spoke english - a bunch of Americans in a foreign country going out & speaking Spanish? > not likely. I practiced with my host mom (she didn't speak english) & took all Spanish tours/listened to as much Spanish as possible.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Other

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? it was a fun, organized & expectation met program that allowed me to meet some really awesome people - i still keep in touch with girls from california, oklahoma & hawaii. -- Go out & meet locals, because it's the only way you're going to practice the language & do a full term abroad, not just a summer session. Also, take the tours in Spanish, because the exposure will help immensely.