Studying abroad in Barcelona through IES was easily the best decision in all of my 21 years of life. While walking through the city my friend and I even noted how all your life you, "Oh be careful, be wise, these are the decisions that will impact or change the rest of your life." Our decision as to study abroad, electing an international program vs. a school ran one, which program, which term put all of my best friends and memories and I together. Studying abroad showed me a clearer picture of who I am, what I am capable of, and of the world around me.
As far as the program itself, I was overly impressed in my close connections with those who worked with the students and led the sponsored activities and trips.
The trips themselves helped me better understand and see other parts of Spain. It was nice to on a few IES planned trips mixed in with my own as I was able to successfully see the best parts of a city while having everything pre-planned for me, even with scheduled independent time to do as I pleased. This was very nice, especially being on our own completely after the planned day activities.
The school was largely committed to helping us live as part of Barcelona. They held firey and interesting debates over current issues for students to attend, mini tours and explorations through vineyards, markets, and cool up and coming neighborhoods. They also offered plenty of workshops for dancing, cooking, and bike rides! They even hosted plenty of events planned by current student to keep us involved like massage and pizza days during test weeks, dinners or parties on celebrations, and photo competitions on Instagram.
My favorite part about choosing this program was that whenever my friends and I would travel anywhere, or others would travel to visit us, they all would leave saying the same thing. It was always a parting thought of how others wish they would have chosen our program and picked our city.
This always filled me with such pride. Although everyone liked their study abroad experiences, but I was full heartedly in love with mine. In love with my new friends that I still have and am flying to visit next week, in love with the best city that will always hold a place in my heart, and in love with the culture that is unlike that of anywhere else in Europe, or the rest of the world for that matter, which I will miss so much.
If you want to try great food, learn rich culture, leave your comfort zone for an international program whose students are from different states, and different countries, experience the best night life and have the most beautiful architecture, parks, and scenery that I have ever seen, IES Barcelona is for you. You won't regret it.