Life changing experience Past Review

By (Finance and Financial Management Services., The College of New Jersey) for

ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Independence is what I gained from this experience. It hasn't really changed my academic interests or future plans, however, if an opportunity came up where I could work abroad for a few years, I would definitely take advantage of it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload and diffculty of the education in Barcelona was perfect under the circumstances. Although I was there to study Spanish language and liberal arts, I really wanted to focus on the experience of living in a foreign country, or in other words, experience the culture. The work wasn't overwhelming and allowed me to do exactly what that, experience life in Spain.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The ISA program was extremely helpful with whatever I needed. They are there to help the students in the program and they do it well. From reccomending a good restaurant to helping out with travel arrangements, they were always there when I needed them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived next to plaza catalunya (right next to the ISA office), so my location was perfect in terms of access to the city. Everything was in close proximity. My house family was very lenient in terms of allowing me to come back late if I wanted to go out with my friends one night. On top of that, I never had any issues with her. If you respect the host family and follow their rules, they will treat you accordingly. I was pretty much provided with everything I needed with the exception of toothpaste, shaving cream, and other small items that I'm supposed to be responsible for anyway. My host family provided me with sheets, pillow, towel, notebook, paper, and other essentials. With respect to safety, I never encountered any problems although there were a few close calls. My only concern is the petty theft and is the only issue I would warn future students. Nevertheless, the city is fairly safe to walk around at night.

* Food:

My homestay mom happened to be a very good cook, so I was more than satisfied when it came to food arrangements.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Awesome is the only word I can think of. The excursions the program provided were more than adequate and the social life in Barcelona is just incredible.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

As a stated before, safety wasn't much of a concern with the exception of petty theft (pick pockets). In terms of health, I did get sick over the course of the semester. I went to the ISA office and they recommened me a good clinic. The doctor visit went by smoothly, so I have no complaints.

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?

It's pretty much what you make of it. If you want to practice the foreign language, then you will have plenty of opportunities to do so, and the program absolutely encourages it. I myself did a homestay, as a result I was able to practice my spanish every day. On top of that, I made an effort to go out and interact with Spaniards everywhere I could. That includes restaurants, stores, and on the street.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I was very skeptical about studying abroad. My college is only an hour away from home and I saw my family every month. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy the experience. I have never been so wrong. I believe studying abroad is for anyone. And if you're having second thoughts, take the plunge and go for because chances are you're not going to regret it. I wish i never left Barcelona.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Between tolerance and conflict

Course Department: 51147
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class gave a good overall historical view of Spain through the persective of religion. It was interesting, informative, and fun at the same time. The Professor definitely helped improve the quality of the class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Superior Spanish-Proficiency

Course Department: 51213
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: Before studying abroad, I spoke fluent spanish. However, I had difficulty speaking and writing correctly from a grammar standpoint. This class gives you a strong foundation when it comes to grammar while at the same time improving your speech.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Contemporary Spanish Art

Course Department: 51154
Instruction Language: English
Comments: A good class for people who enjoy art and want to learn about famous spanish painters. The class goes into the detail of the paintings by analysing what the painter is trying to convey as well as what was going on historically during that time period.
Credit Transfer Issues: