Two Beautiful Countries, One Fun Experience July 19, 2022

By (Studio Art, Berea College) - abroad from 06/17/2022 to 07/14/2022 with

KIIS: Berlin & Barcelona (Summer)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained an experience I will never forget. In a way, as a student, I get to be a more observant of these countries then the average tourist. I took photos and edited them and made art out of them, and I made illustrations of different locations, which really helped me to solidify them into my memories. I captured the essence of Berlin and Barcelona in my artwork and I want people who look at my artwork to feel as if they're gaining an understanding of what these countries are like.

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.

It was excellent. I feel that the class work was reasonably challenging and engaging, but not so much that there wasn't enough time to enjoy and explore the countries.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were certain aspects I liked more or less about each place. In Germany, we stayed at a hostel in Berlin. While the location was very convenient for transportation, finding places to eat, or taking photos for class, the living situation wasn't comfortable for me. I found it difficult to share a small room with 3 other roommates. I would have preferred only two to a room, but other than that, i did like the hostels location in the city and I liked that it has a cafe and plenty of places to study. As for Barcelona, the dorms were great in many ways. I liked that it was two people to a room. There were many amenities such as a full bathroom, a kitchenette, cleaning supplies, dishes to use, and a refrigerator. But the problem with our dorm was its location. It was located in a beautiful neighborhood, but it was far away from everything we needed to travel to. It took a long time to travel to restaurants and the grocery store, so it often took an hour and a half to get food. The museums and the main city were 30+minutes away so it was often difficult for myself and other students to get motivated to leave the dorms and explore.

* Food:

Berlin and Barcelona have excellent food. I was rarely disappointed with my meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I caught Covid while abroad and had to quarantine for 5 days. While not directly healthcare related, it was hard enough for my roommate and I to eat enough while in quarantine. We did get groceries for the 5 days to cook in Barcelona, which was convenient, but we did have to be precious with our food to make it last. In hindsight, we could have asked for more help with this, but it was difficult for anyone to have time to get more food for us since the grocery stores were so far from our dorm. It would take anyone a lot of effort to go there for us. I feel that since it's nearly inevitable that some students will catch Covid abroad, there should be more of a system set in place for helping students get enough food in quarantine.

* Safety:

Berlin was safe and I never felt concerned about safety, even at night. Barcelona does have more crime, which is mostly petty theft. While no student was stolen from, we did witness another tourist get stolen from near by us. My advice to future students is to try not to let your purse or wallet out of your sight while walking around or using public transport and stay with friends so that you have more people looking out for you.

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

I would do this program again, especially because it included two countries.


* 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)

For food, it was possible to stay within a students budget, but honestly, I highly recommend saving up some money before the trip so that you have a lot of extra spending money on hand, because if you want to try a lot of new foods and good restaurants, you're probably going to be very tempted to spend more money for them. I was. You'll want to try new snacks, get souvenirs, get ice cream, do some personal shopping, or go on a personal excursion. You'll even go to flea markets. It's a lot of fun to experience all you can because you don't know when you'll be back (yet?).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy groceries if you can and cook them. Save leftovers at every chance you get because you don't need to go out for every meal. Go to budget restaurants sometimes.


* 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

It wasn't necessary to use the language much, but it was helpful for dinner students.

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Some beginner Spanish classes
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Duolingo is useful, and practice with friends who know the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • The graphic design classes
  • The countries and their cultures
  • Experiencing Europe's efficient transportation system
* What could be improved?
  • The living situations
  • Covid assistance
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I put more effort into learning German and Spanish. I also wish I tried to make friends while there.

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.