I was very excited to go to Barcelona and study abroad. My friend went through a different program and enjoyed it a lot. My Spanish improved so much and I 100% think this was a valuable experience and recommend others to study abroad. (Learning Spanish was more of a result of being in Spain not at all a result of taking those un engaging classes with bad teachers)
Having said that I have come to the conclusion that, from what I experienced during my stay, the EF program in Barcelona is unorganized, the staff are rude, and the host moms, which I spoke to(I can't speak for ones I have not met or heard about), are uneducated and rude as well. I am not saying all of their locations are like this but the interactions I had with the Ef staff in Barcelona were atrocious. They would most definetly be unqualified to work in the U.S. for speaking to customers the way they do. Not only that but I was shocked because they were complete liars. They would say anything to save their behinds and made up stories when people complained. I do not believe they were qualified for their jobs one bit as they are rude, close minded, and untrustworthy.
As much as my experience with the staff was atrocious that wasn't the worst part, and it is probably unusual as most kids just pass through the program and are simply given fake smiles. The worst part was how obviously unorganized the program was. Most host parents were not even parents. Some where just men or young women who lived alone and were never home. My host mom was not a native spanish speaker and had such a thick accent I could barely understand her. She also did not know anything about the culture and therefore it was not a "cultural experience". I spoke to many people who were there with me in Barcelona(from all over the world) and many had problems with the program and their host "families". Some were left alone to do what ever they wanted sometimes as their host "parent" would go out clubbing. One of my friends was not even fed for a few days and was forced to buy her own food(the program is expensive and includes meals). Everyone I had talked to who was vegetarian arrived at the house to find out that the host family didn't even know! My host mom did not even know how to cook for my roommate and me and due to this we wasted so much money on our own food. Her boyfriend also smoked in the bathroom and the house would reek and I had an allergic reaction to the smoke.
Over all I recommend going to Spain just not through EF. My close friend loved her program and even talks to them today! There are great programs out there- this is not one of them.