Living in Barcelona for a semester was a truly amazing and unique experience. The CIEE ALA program really lets you immerse yourself in the culture and be independent but at the same time provides so much support and helps you make the most of your experience. Participating in the program definitely helped me gain confidence and a love of experiencing new cultures. I knew that taking classes in the local university and meeting Spanish students would be a challenge, but CIEE provided all the resources I needed to be able to be successful and have a great time. I met Spanish friends at the language exchange meetings organized by the program, which became a great way to experience what life in Barcelona is like. Whenever I had an essay for a class at the University of Barcelona, the Spanish students that work at CIEE helped me edit my grammar and writing style so that I knew I was submitting my best work possible. And the program director, Alberto del Río Malo went above and beyond to make sure that we were learning, having fun, and exploring. I'm so grateful that through the program I not only got to immerse myself in a new culture and greatly improve my Spanish but also grow close with the other students who were studying abroad. Some of my fondest memories were from CIEE's day trips on Saturdays, where me and my friends were able to travel around the state of Catalonia for free and see so many new places. My favorite was the medieval town of Girona! Our weekend class trip was also amazing, where we got to actually visit the grave of one of Antonio Machado, one of the poets we had studied in class. That's just the type of thing that you can expect from the ALA program; You'll get a in-depth look at Spanish art, cinema, literature, and culture, and then go out and experience those things in Barcelona and the surrounding towns. Overall, if you want an amazing adventure in a beautiful city, meet lots of new people, and make life-long friends, then this is the program for you.
Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would