I loved everything about my abroad experience with ALA Barcelona. This program does a fantastic job of balancing academic challenge with fun cultural activities. I had an amazing semester spent exploring Barcelona and traveling on weekends, and I improved my Spanish a lot. I think the biggest advantage that ALA offers is being able to take classes at the University of Barcelona. Unlike most Americans that study in Barcelona, I and the rest of ALA students interacted much more with locals. The level of linguistic and cultural emersion is much higher for this program compared to most others, and CIEE provides constant personal support to ensure that their students succeed academically. I think ALA students have the opportunity to really get to know Barcelona beyond a surface/ tourist-y level. In terms of logistics, ALA provides three housing options (residencia dorm among local students, apartment with other Americans, or homestay). The vast majority of students love their living situation, and each option has different advantages. I personally stayed in the residencia, and loved the central city location/ proximity to UB. Looking back, I would not change anything about my time in Barcelona!