AIFS Study Abroad in Barcelona - UAB: Semester or Academic Year

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About

Spend a semester or academic year in the modern and cosmopolitan city of Barcelona. Earn up to 15 credits through a variety of courses studying at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Courses are taught in English or Spanish, and no previous Spanish language study is required.

AIFS in Barcelona offers students the opportunity to take courses in Spanish language, business and the humanities. Students can take courses focusing on Catalonia and Spain, the international and European business environment and more.

Live in a homestay, apartment or student residence. Enjoy cultural and social activities such as visits to museums, churches and cultural sites, Spanish cooking classes, tapas evening with Spanish students, and traditional Spanish music and dance performances. AIFS includes day trips to Gerona and Besalu, Figueras and the Dali Museum, Montserrat and Sitges, and a 3-day trip to the Pyrenees. Optional excursions include Morocco, Seville, Andalucia and Granada.

Highlights
  • Walking tours of the Gothic quarter and Cathedral
  • Gaudi's Parc Guell
  • Welcome and Farewell party
  • Excursion to the Pyrenees

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 37 reviews
  • Academics 7.1
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 37
Spain has the most fascinating architecture in the world
David
10/10

(Excursions and Travel Plans In and Out of Program)

MAKING TRAVEL PLANS

It is without a doubt that almost everyone’s favorite part of studying abroad is traveling to different countries. As a matter of fact, I spent most of my study abroad experience doing activities in Barcelona that were provided by my program. However, I have myself planned and travelled on two weekend trips around Europe, but only on weekends when I really didn’t have any big papers to write or exams to study for, especially when I had long weekends with four to five days off. Believe it or not, if you follow these simple planning guidelines, your weekend trips will not only be hassle-free, but much more enjoyable as well. Here are my five need-to-know tips for planning weekend travel.
• Travel with a group: Traveling with friends is not only safer, but also much more fun. I travelled to Prague and Budapest on my own and while I never felt like I was in danger because I was exploring with different groups. When I was in my Prague, I travelled with Bus2alps, when I was in Budapest, I travelled with Weekend Student Adventures. I stood in a 6 to 8 person room hostel with other study abroad students. Having multiple heads working together will make planning and getting around much easier, and if nothing else, it’s always better to have some company.
• Creating a Budget: Actually, you’ll want to plan 2; one for your flight and hostel you book ahead of time, and one for the amount you’re going to spend when you’re actually traveling. Good hostels can be as cheap as 15 or 20 Euro a night depending on the time of year, and flights as low as 50 to 80 Euro round-trip. If I was going to be in a city for say 3 days and 2 nights, I usually took out the equivalent of $200 to $250 in local currency. Remember, the earlier you do your booking, the cheaper your travel will be. Check currency exchange rates before you leave! In some places like the Czech Republic, the rate is something like $1 to 20 Czech Koruna, so don’t be surprised when you take out 5000 CZK from the ATM.
• Bring a copy of your visa and passport with you: I had my passport in my pouch at all times because I figured it was safer that way, although some people will disagree with that. If you’re following my lead, keep a copy of your visa and passport in your hostel locker, and on the off chance your passport does get stolen, having this will make your trip to the U.S. consulate to get a replacement go a lot smoother.
• Investigate public transportation in your destination city: Few days before my weekend adventure begun, I have spent some time reading transportation maps about the city I am going to. This is something I personally advise all travellers to do before their trips begin, because this will help them avoid getting lost, spending money constantly, and make their trip a hundred times more safer. Note on Taxis: In mainland Europe, taxi drivers are occasionally known to charge you a ridiculous rate when you come to your stop. Negotiate either a price/mile rate or an overall rate right when you get in the cab, and stick to it. If the cabbie tries to mess with you, threaten to get the police and more than likely they’ll back down as they don’t have the time to get involved with the cops.

EXCURSIONS PROVIDED BY YOUR PROGRAM

Many cultural activities and travel excursions are included in AIFS Study Abroad programs. In addition, you’ll find great options available to supplement your experience in meaningful, sometimes life-changing, ways. No matter what country you choose to study in, the AIFS programs provide optional excursions during specific weekends. They are there to make your study abroad experiences fun, enjoyable, and memorable.

Seville & Granada AIFS Excursion

Now that I have been enrolled in my courses and have a sense of what my work-load is throughout the semester, I start to travel with my group on the first optional excursion to Andalucia. On Friday morning, I take a one-hour flight from Barcelona to Seville. Seville is famous for its architecture. Seville’s architecture is a mixture of the old and the new, the ancient and the modern. Phoenicians, romans, visigoths, arabs have lived in this city and therefore have left a trace in buildings, urban planning and culture. After spending one night in Seville I take a three-hour bus ride to Granada, another city in Andalucia that is a little more hilly. Granada is very famous for its beautiful gardens, city views, and historical palaces. Here are two wonderful places to go to during your time in Andalucia. One is in Seville and the other is in Granada.

(Granada) Alhambra:
The Alhambra is probably one of the most breathtaking places you'll ever visit, but be sure to have good walking shoes because it'll take a good 2 to 3 hours to see the whole thing. Even though, different palaces that are part of the Alhambra were used less and less and fell into disrepair for hundreds of years. Squatters moved in. A lot of the original artwork was lost. Parts were destroyed in the 1800s during battles with the French and a strong earthquake. It's possible that the entire complex could have been forgotten about altogether if it hadn't been “rediscovered” by European scholars in the 1820s. Since then, its been reclaimed and is still undergoing restoration. I personally love the Alhambra as a palace of fascinating architecture. Spending time up in Alhambra felt like being up in heaven, smelling flowers, and seeing so many people make it for an eternal loving life.

(Seville) Plaza de Espana:
My favorite place in Seville is Plaza de Espana. The massive building is Seville's most impressive after the cathedral, for its sheer scale and grandeur. Love it or hate it - fabulous or fussy, magnificent or overblown, depending on your point of view – I would advise you not miss it when visiting the city. Plaza de España was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 (Expo 29), along with many of the pavilions you can see in and around the Parque Maria Luisa. I think Plaza de Espana is one of the biggest and most famous landmarks in the capital of Andalucia. Here is a fun fact. Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones was filmed at the plaza. If any of you are huge Star Wars fanatics, this is definitely the place to go if you want to feel like you are in planet Naboo with Senator Amidala.

Morocco AIFS Excursion

Because AIFS is one of the best study abroad programs in the world, I have signed up for an excursion travelling to a new continent and a new country, which was in fact, number 30 on my Travel Record Books. I went on the excursion that I had been looking forward to the most: Morocco. Considering the fact that my Dad is from an Islamic country, I was so excited to visit a Muslim country, and finally experience a different country with cultural similarities. During my three days in Morocco, I have tried different food, walked around different towns, and went camal riding. I loved Morocco. I loved my time there. I loved the places I wandered through and the people who proved that Moroccans are kind, welcoming and helpful. However, I was super frustrated that I ran into local men I met were being childish because I was ignoring them. I am referring to men who were selling Moroccan souvenirs on the streets. Here is some personal and helpful advice for people who plan to go to Morocco. This is advice when it comes to running into strangers who ask for money or try to force you to buy supplies. There’s not really much you can do to avoid attention (I have met women travelling with men who were drained from the abuse directed at them) but there are steps you can take to minimise it. Look as if you know where you’re going when you’re out exploring. If you look frightened and disorientated you’ll also look like an easy target. When local men approach you keep your head held high, avoid eye contact and stride purposefully away. If they persist, ask them firmly to leave you alone. Some of you may ask me, how were you able to prevent yourself from being involved in bad incidents? I remained with my group and made sure I was staying with the people in my group. I disregarded any word that was spat out by any childish stranger trying to get my attention. Other than getting myself out of the dangerous situations, I am very happy to say that Morocco is a country where people can explore the religion of Islam.

Yes, I recommend
Greta
10/10

Barcelona, Best Four Months of My Life

The four months I spent in Barcelona with AIFS were the best of my life, and the most valuable of my college career. The world was my classroom, and I learned more than I have in any class in my life. I chose AIFS initially because it was the cheapest option I looked at, but it also turned out to be the best! The accommodations, activities and staff were all exceptional. My apartment was newly renovated, and was located along the pedestrian avenue that connected La Sagrada Familia to the historic San Pau hospital. The onsite staff arranged activities- from walking tours, to visits to neighboring towns, to cooking classes, to dance lessons- each weekend so that anyone who stayed in the city had something to do. All of these were already included in the program costs, so we never had to pay more to participate. The onsite staff were so incredible. They truly made me feel like I was at home in Barcelona. They went above and beyond to take care of us. When I woke up with pinkeye, I emailed them saying I thought I needed to go to the doctor, and in less than an hour they had made me an appointment for that very morning. They met me at the metro and accompanied me the whole way. I really feel like AIFS cares about me. They made me feel safe and cared for despite being more than 5000 miles from home. They create such a great environment among all of the students. I credit AIFS for a lifetime of memories and friendship. Not only did they make my time abroad spectacular, but they have continued to provide me with opportunities to grow even after I have returned.

If you're looking to go to Barcelona, here are some of my insights into the city: The weather is amazing. I arrived in January, and the temperature never dropped below 45. It was sunny nearly every day, and I was in the ocean in February. The physical location of Barcelona is perfect, because it sits between the mountains and the beach. Some days I would wake up and hike up in the hills on the edge of the city, then walk down to relax on the beach in the afternoon. If you go to Barcelona, make sure you make the day trip up Montserrat. Montserrat is an incredible mountain, maybe an hour outside of the city, offering some of the most breathtaking views I have ever experienced. Barcelona offers a vast range of activities, from shopping, to hiking, to clubbing. It really does have something for everyone. The architecture is incredible. Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familia are my favorites because of the sheer amount of detail that Gaudi put into them.

I really would highly recommend studying abroad to every student. I truly feel like it makes people into more empathetic and understanding global citizens. It is also the most valuable learning experience you can take advantage of. It helped me to develop an abundance of skills, both personal and professional, and also to gain a deeper understanding of who I am and what I want in life.

Yes, I recommend
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Kassandra
10/10

My Grand Adventure

While clicking the "submit" button on my application to study abroad in Barcelona, I took a chance and had no idea that I was enabling myself to embark on the grandest adventure of my life. Looking back at my four months living in Barcelona, I see a whole new person from the beginning to the end. I knew I would grow as a person in my four months abroad, but I did not realize the capacities or mountains I would cross to get to where I am today. I cannot emphasize how important it is to study abroad while in college. Studying abroad provides a foundation for personal growth that nothing else can compare to. Living, traveling, and learning in another country is life changing in every way because of the simplicity of every day life. Learning from the locals, traveling, running into road bumps, getting lost, missing flights and exploring historical treasures are just a few of the everyday activities that help a person grow while abroad. The AIFS program is a huge part of what makes studying abroad in Barcelona so special. The on-site staff truly supported me and pushed me outside my comfort zone. Studying in Barcelona is unique because you have the privilege of experiencing the Mediterranean sea, the mountains, a lively city filled with passionate locals, unimaginable art and architecture, and a million stories of historic events. Take a chance and study abroad through AIFS in Barcelona, I promise it WILL be the best four months of your entire life.

Yes, I recommend
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Nicholas
9/10

Well Rounded Experience

All aspects of this program was amazing. From the moment we landed in Barcelona the staff was always there to help regardless of the situation. The staff made the transition very easy and smooth. The program offers a wide variety of excursions to immerse yourself in the culture and make you feel like a local. I would definitely recommend participating in the optional weekend excursions, these were some of my favorite moments. I know I will never forget paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland, riding camels in Morocco and eating tapas in Seville, Spain.
What you learn both inside and outside of the classroom will have long term impacts after you return from this amazing experience. Everyone will return with new skills, life long memories, and life long friends.

Yes, I recommend
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McKenna
10/10

My Semester in Barcelona, Spain

My semester abroad was one of the most positive experiences of my life. I went during the Spring semester of my junior year, which is a time that I highly recommend to go. I think it is important to have a few semesters of college under your belt before you go abroad because I think it will make you feel better prepared to enter into a completely new environment. Also, when you return to your home institution, you have time to go abroad again. AIFS made the entire experience so positive and memorable for a number of reasons. One of the things that has stuck with me the most is how supported I felt by the local AIFS staff while I was away. They were willing to help with anything, whether it was a recommendation for dinner or taking me to the doctor when I was sick. After speaking with prospective students at California Lutheran University, I often hear that they are most concerned about the cost of going abroad and their living situation while they are there. AIFS is affordable and able to work with students no matter what their financial situation is. The program offers clean, safe, and modern accommodations close to the university campuses in Barcelona and the social scene. Overall, I cannot say enough great things about AIFS and I highly encourage you to check out the numerous programs they offer. Even if you do not go through AIFS, I strongly feel that everyone should study abroad if they have the opportunity. It is an amazing experience that you will carry with you throughout the rest of your life.

Yes, I recommend
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Brendan
10/10

AIFS Barcelona

It is impossible to not fall in love with Barcelona. There is something for everyone here. From the beach, nightlife, and markets, there is something for everyone to do. And because Barcelona has a pretty big airport, travelling throughout Europe is extremely easy. The best part of my entire trip was getting the oppotunity to travel. I was able to see the worlds tallest building in Dubai, Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, and the Northern lights in Iceland. I would have never gotten these chances so close together if I hadnt studied abroad!

How can this program be improved?
It would be great if our flights allowed us to be in Barcelona a little longer after finals ended.
Yes, I recommend
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Jennifer
9/10

Aifs in Barcelona is a MUST

I´ve had an amazing expierience abroad and had the opportunity to come to Barcelona and was grateful to recieve a scholarship that covered half my tuition. I`ve had the chance to visit many places in Europe that was on my bucket list on weekends. I´ve made so many friends that I will truly miss since we all live far from eachother in the states. Inma, Jenn and Georgina were all so helpful and nice. I loved expieriencing a homestay I woke up to breakfast and came from a long day of classes to dinner daily as well. I would recommend everyone to study abroad its a great expierience and you see the world differently.

Yes, I recommend
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Latysha
10/10

Best Time of My Life

The best experience of my life was going to Carnival in Stiges. It was something like no other. I can´t even begin to explain how amazing it was. I don´t even remember everything but it was still a party like no other. Also, I love all of the floats, music, dancers, etc. It was even more great because we got to dress up too. The perfect party atomsphere with amazing people. I wish could say more. Its just something that you have to experience yourself. A must go too!

Yes, I recommend
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Eric
9/10

AIFS Barcelona Study Abroad

I loved being able to study abraod here in Barcelona. I feel it was important to stay and experience Barcelona as much as you can, but also to travel and experience the different cultures throughout Europe and the rest of the world. My favorite city that I was able to visit abroad, other than Barcelona, was Lyon, France. Lyon was an amazing city to see first hand, and see the French culture there. It was an amazing experience overall to say the least!

How can this program be improved?
Try to find additional ways to allow studtent from both UPF and UAB to meet each other throughout the semester.
Yes, I recommend
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Max
10/10

Friendship abroad

It is hard to think of one speciofic story as the whole experience was a great story. I would have to say that the most memorable was not exactly what I did but rather who i did it with. I was lucky to experience great friends through the program, school, and abroad in general. I did not realize the strong connections and friendships i would make swtudying abroad. It is sad to think that I will not be able to share experiences with the same group of people again. It was unforgettable and hope to keep in touch with the people I have met abroad.

How can this program be improved?
More Food!
Yes, I recommend
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Danielle
10/10

Barcelona Fall 2014

This semester surpassed any expectation I could have set for myself. My host family was wonderful and extremely accomodating, especially when I got sick twice. I found the staff extremely helpful and always there as well. Having an intercambio also helped assimilate myself into the culture a little more- so thank you for setting that up. Barcelona is a great city and I´m glad I got to experience what it has to offer.

Yes, I recommend
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Katarina
10/10

Awesome Experience in Barcelona!!

I had no idea just how memorable my time would be in Barcelona. AIFS was so helpful-anything from help with places to eat, day trips, travel tips, and just being there when we were overwhelmed. The day trips were great and an easy way to see local attractions that some programs do not include. These activities also helped you create a ¨home base¨with the other students in the program.

How can this program be improved?
It seemed in the last few weeks was when I got most of the information that I needed for my trip - it would´ve been nicer to get it a little sooner to help me prepare better.
Yes, I recommend
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Will
10/10

Great experience!

I was very uneasy about coming abroad but everything went so much better than I expected. My day to day was filled with new activities and although I was in school it was still very fulfilling. I missed some things at home after some time but the program was very well constructed and made everything accessible and enjoyable.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe allow more class flexibility.
Yes, I recommend
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George
10/10

AIFS Barcelona? Whole deal.......

AIFS has been wonderful! I have made so many new friendships and was able to explore Europe in just three short months. I wish I could study abroad here again next spring! The part i enjoyed most about studying in Barcelona was exploring the city and all Barcelona has to offer! Aifs in Barcelona is the BEST program and it´s going to be sad leaving this place that I can now call my second home.

Yes, I recommend
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Alise
10/10

Thank you AIFS for the Best Experience

Life in Barcelona was like a dream looking back, a dream that i shall never forget! I loved everything about the experience, from the culture, cuisine, and people, to the central location of the Barcelona airport which allowed for extensive travel throughout Europe. I came to Barcelona looking for something, what that something was I didn´t know, yet here in Barcelona, I found that special something I´d been searching for all along. A little part of myself that I had lost over the years I managed to find here in Barcelona. After battling with depression for two years, it´s safe to say that I consider myself mentally stable at last, and I have this experience to thank for potentially saving my life. Through this experience, my zest and appreciation for the beauty of life has been reinvigorated in a whole new way, one which I struggled to find back at home in the United States. My whole perspective on life has shifted as a result of this experience, and I daresay that I am a new, refined, mature version of myself. I´ll never forget my time here in Barcelona, for what I was looking for was inside of me all along, and now, I see.

How can this program be improved?
Make sure students are aware of the spanish grading system prior to arrival so he or she can mentally prepare!
Yes, I recommend

About AIFS Study Abroad

AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and experience all that the world has to offer....