SAI BARCELONA = AMAZING September 13, 2020

By (University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa) - abroad from 01/06/2020 to 03/12/2021 with

SAI Study Abroad: Barcelona - Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
How to be independent and navigate a foreign country while making friends with people from all over. Totally worthwhile

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

UPF is the top ranked school in Spain, so the classes were definitely challenging, but in a good way. I didn't feel like I was wasting my time with school, I really was learning important information. It is also a very historic and culturally Catalan school, so it was perfect for getting the local experience I wanted!! Beautiful and peaceful campus just a 10 minute walk away from Barceloneta (the beach).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

INCREDIBLE - The staff were all so welcoming, easy to talk to, and made you feel right at home. They also planned great events and were fun to hang out with!! We went to Monterserrat, had a flamenco dancing workshop, ceramics workshop, Catalan cooking night, weekend trip to Seville, and more ... the staff made all of the excursions so great!!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a nice apartment right next to Sagrada Familia

* Food:

Totally depends on the restaurants you find and what you can cook yourself from the grocery store - for me it was great!! Also enjoyed going to a lot of cafes throughout the city and on UPF's campus.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really felt like I got a local experience in Barcelona and that was my main goal for studying abroad. So much of the local experience I was given was from SAI excursions and their Global Leadership Certification, where I had the opportunity to earn an additional certification through making a presentation on a subject related to Spain, write a thesis statement, meet with the advisors, attend academic seminars, and volunteer weekly at a local school to help teach the kids English. Overall incredible experience!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe. SAI did a great job of making sure we were taken care of and prepared for our arrival!

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

SAI was the best decision I could have made. They were SO accommodating, quick to respond, and settled any worries I had going into it. The apartments we were assigned were really nice and fantastic location. SAI gave the perfect amount of independence but also security and excursion opportunities.


* 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
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The program encouraged us to use the language and there were Spanish and Catalan courses available to take - however, I did not take the courses.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Staff
  • The Events / Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Bigger variety of students from different schools
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would've paid more attention to what the weather was going to be like. Barcelona in January / February calls for pants and sweaters a lot!