It's scary at first but Barcelona very quickly became a home to me. September 13, 2019

By (Virginia Commonwealth University / VCU) - abroad from 01/07/2019 to 04/12/2019 with

SAI Programs: Barcelona – Study Abroad at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona was the perfect balance between academic rigor/intensity and not being too difficult at the same time. I enjoyed how we only had classes Monday-Thursday and usually little work outside the classroom, besides midterm/final projects.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I absolutely loved Sandrine, Leticia and Ashley and the entire SAI program as a whole. I firmly believe that my study abroad experience was so amazing because these wonderful ladies were there with me the entire time. They are so sweet, helpful, and genuine and helped Barcelona feel like a home, despite me being in a completely foreign and new setting.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We had 5 girls, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The apartment was clean and new. The kitchen was stocked with all necessary items. I was very happy with the living arrangements.

* Food:

The food in Barcelona was one of the best I've ever seen through traveling in Europe, Asia, Africa and the US! The quality and taste is unparalleled and the shops and restaurants are so unique!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At first, I felt so out of place due to there being a completely new culture and environment. However, after living there for 4 months, by the end, I felt very comfortable in the community. It's scary at first but Barcelona very quickly became a home to me.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally didn't have any health issues during the program but I saw my friends and colleagues were treated well!

* Safety:

Barcelona isn't the safest place I would as I got my phone stolen in the first couple of weeks in the program, so I would definitely watch out for that. But, overall, once I became aware of my surroundings and got used to looking around, it got better!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

At first, I felt so out of place due to there being a completely new culture and environment. However, after living there for 4 months, by the end, I felt very comfortable in the community. It's scary at first but Barcelona very quickly became a home to me.

Finances

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Grocery shopping is a must! The quality of produce is very high and I saved money by not eating out every day for every meal.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Took Spanish in college
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?