GREAT experience! Past Review

By (Psychology, Washington State University - Pullman campus) for

ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I understood more about Spanish culture and language, and can still remember what I've learned. It also instilled a sense of well being and respect for different cultures around the world. Makes me want to travel a lot more.

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 schooling was a lot of fun. Everyone who enrolled was tested, and put into classes based on their skill level. The only difficult part was that you became very close with your class, but sometimes wouldn't speak with people outside of your class. It would have been nice if the different group had day to day activities together.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The group that arranged for almost all our activities were excellent. They were a lot of fun and taught us a lot.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At the beginning, I was placed in an apartment that was very uncomfortable. It was a single mom who had 2 young children and 1 baby, and the apartment was extremely small. There were 2 rooms, so in order for me to stay there all the children and the mom were in one room. It made me feel uncomfortable that they had to share such a small space just for me to be there. Also, the mom worked late hours, so some sort of male friend would come over to watch the kids. I could hear them making love a couple of the nights, which was also weird because I knew the kids were in the same room. They also didn't prepare any meals, so I didn't eat frequently. I brought this up with the ISA staff, and although I could tell that they didn't WANT me to move, she said if I was uncomfortable that they would move me. I ended up with a senora (also a single woman), but she had a much larger apartment and had another ISA student staying with her. It was absolutley wonderful after that. My second senora was fantastic; she always had food available to us and we would eat dinners together at night. It was absolutley perfect and I am so glad that I was able to change living accomodations, it completely turned around my entire experience.

* Food:

Everywhere was great. We would eat different places almost every day! We loved the cafe that shared a courtyard area with the university, and loved to eat in little areas off of La Rambla.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everything was memorable. It was my first time to Europe, and they did such a great job showing you museums, historical sights, and how the locals lived now.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never had any saftey concerns.

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 senora did not speak any English, so when I was at home I was only speaking Spanish. The teacher in the class also would not let us speak English, even to each other (she would get upset that she didn't fully understand), so that was helpful too. However, it seemed that a lot of people understood English out in Barcelona, so when we were out on the town or exploring we would seem to speak half English half Spanish, as people could understand us.

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? Going abroad during college is a great idea. It will make you want to travel more and more, and you will realize that it's easiest to do it while you are still in school. Take advantage of the opportunity and GO!!!