Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain: UAB: Summer

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Spend your summer or Maymester in Barcelona with AIFS! You’ll earn up to 6 credits through a Maymester, Intensive Spanish Language or Spanish Language and Culture Program at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Courses are taught in English or Spanish. No previous Spanish language study required.

Live in a Spanish homestay, where you’ll be immersed in Spanish culture and receive breakfast and dinner daily from your host family. For an additional fee, you can live in an apartment or student residence instead. A meal allowance is included if you choose to live in an apartment or student residence.

In Barcelona, you’ll enjoy cultural and social activities such as:
• A Gothic and Jewish Quarter tour
• Welcome dinners of tapas and paella
• Day trip to Girona and Besalú
• Day trip to Figueras and the Dalí Museum
• A half-day Camp Nou Tour.
An optional 3-day excursion to Madrid is available. A 2-night tour of London is included for students on the AIFS Flight Package.

  • Earn up to 6 credits and transcript issued by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Visits to Girona, Besalu, and Figueras and Dali Museum
  • Optional 3-day excursion to Madrid
  • Maymester option
  • No previous Spanish language study required

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Yes, I recommend this program

So glad I went!!

Barcelona has so much to offer! Besides the wonderful Mediterranean weather, there's always something new to discover.

One of my favorite pastimes in Barça was exploring the Gothic quarter, which is full of neat shops, restaurants, and (perhaps my favorite) gelato shops!! You can find all of these throughout the city, but the Gothic is very Medieval!

Another favorite pastime was spending time in the Parc de la Ciutadella. There's a huge, beautiful fountain, ping pong tables (yes, people play ping pong outside in parks!), and plenty of shady spaces to lay a blanket down to read or do yoga. There's a huge pond in the middle of the park too where you can rent a paddleboat or find a bench to people watch or start a conversation with someone.

The FOOD is amazing!! Of course, not all food is created equal. If you use Trip Advisor, you'll find the gems! The mediterranean diet is considered the healthiest in the world. Enjoy every bit of it, too, because it can't be replicated back home. The Ensalada de Espinacas y Fresas was my FAVORITE!! It was probably the fresh, warm goat's cheese... can't get it like that at home. :)

Practice your SPANISH! The locals love when you converse with them in Spanish (or Catalan, the official language of Barcelona). I was barely past beginner level when I arrived in Barcelona, but the locals were generally very patient. I received better service, and learned more about the city when I did my best to speak Spanish. Thankfully, most people in Barça speak English if you have a limit to your Spanish fluency. It just targets you as a tourist, and if you're studying abroad in a country, it's respectful to learn their language.

What really made my trip worthwhile was that I tried something NEW every day. Whether it was trying a new food, exploring a new area, or stepping a little more out of my comfort zone. One of the most courageous things I did was travel outside of Spain by myself. European travel is super affordable if you're already within the EU. It's impossible not to make friends if you're a traveler (especially backpacking).

The biggest thing I learned from my study abroad experience with AIFS is that your experience is what you make it. Nobody is going to tell you what to do. The great thing about being in Europe is that you can easily travel from one country to another, within the EU. I wish I had planned more thoroughly!

What would you improve about this program?
To focus more time to connect the students early on so that they all know each other. I didn't know half the people in my program because we never ran into each other. We might have spent more time together if we had some initial icebreaker activities upon arrival in Barcelona.

Also, take care to be sure that host families are feeding us well. There were times when the food I was served was moldy. I didn't expect gourmet meals, but I was hoping for something healthy, at least.
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