Barcelona: An Experience I Never Wanted to End Past Review

By (Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) for

ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely! This experience was the best experience of my life and I will never forget it. I am still close to several of my friends who studied abroad with me and I have since been back to Barcelona!

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.

The course work provided a strong knowledge base of the host country without being overwhelming. I was still able to have plenty of free time to explore my new city and travel.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

ISA met all of my expectations. The office was in a centrally located part of the city, accessible to everyone in the program. The office provided students with a place to use computers/internet, do school work, and get help with anything. The program was also considerably smaller than others which made it much easier to get to know my peers and the program directors knew me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family hosted myself and another American student from ISA. We each had our own bedroom and were provided with sheets, towels, furniture, ect. Our host family also provided 3 meals a day and did laundry once a week. My host family was personable and aided in my language acquisition. The apartment was in a centrally located part of the city very near to metro and bus lines which made getting to class, clubs, restaurants, or anywhere I wanted to go easy.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

ISA is perfect for the social experience. The program had about 60 students when I went in 2008 compared to programs I had friends in which had over 200 people. I truly feel like I got to know everyone in my program and we all got along. ISA also took us on excursions, made possible by the smaller size of the program. Additionally, the friendships I formed made traveling fun and easy as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Barcelona is safe, but know for pick-pockets. I had several friends who had purses or cell phones stolen because they were careless. Also be aware of your surroundings and hold your bag close when on a crowed metro and you will be fine. I have since been back to Barcelona and have never felt unsafe during any of my visits.

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?

My Spanish improved considerably during my time abroad in part to my language class and in part to my host family. I only spoke Spanish with my host family and that practice made me comfortable using my Spanish on the streets interacting with locals at stores and restaurants.

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

  • Americans
  • Host Family