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CISabroad participants CISabroad participants

The Barcelona Semester

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    10

Awesome Program, start to finish

From beginning to end, the program was so well organized. Great staff, teachers, excursions, and cultural activities. A great balance between guidance & freedom during these 4 months abroad. Recommend this program whole-heartedly.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    8

Best experience of my life.

Going to Barcelona through CIS was amazing. They helped me whenever I needed it. I would highly recommend going through CIS to Barcelona

Academics:
The teachers were really good and I liked the small class size but the school it's self needs some help. There was only one computer, and the wifi did not work well.

Living Situation:
Absolutely loved my host mom. I would recommend her in a heart beat.

Cultural Immersion:
I really liked l the programs set up by the program to help us see the city. I would have rather gone to Granada than Madrid though.

Program Administration:
Everyone was really helpful

Health and Safety:
There are ALOT of pick pockets here but never any violence. I felt safe as long as I watched my stuff

Social Life:
I'm really don't like a lot of people so I found it nice. But here there are many many things to do in the city with friends including just walking around

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    3

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    6

Barcelona is so much more than a party city!

I came to Barcelona with a similar mindset to that of most college students: time to party. The past few months have so altered my priorities in life - I never expected to be this positively impacted by a semester abroad. Barcelona has nearly everything you could look for in a semester abroad: mountains, beaches, history, tapas, and yes, an amazing night life. I urge future Barcelona study-abroad students to look further than the bars and clubs and to soak up as much culture and natural beauty as possible! CIS made my transition into Barcelona smooth and I felt able to contact them at any point throughout the semester and received quick and helpful responses!

Academics:
My classes were thought-provoking and I appreciated the discussion based nature of the majority of them. The technology at BIC was sub-par which wouldn't have been a problem except that the professors counted on using the internet/technology for nearly every class.

Living Situation:
I chose a home stay over an apartment because I wanted the "comfort" of home cooked meals and a lived-in environment. I am still glad I chose a home stay over an apartment. However, my host mom was difficult to live with. She explained that she was only hosting students for income and was very protective of her space and set in her ways. I tried my best to respect her living space and comply with her requests but I struggled to feel at home in her apartment; I was told that the living room was just for sitting - no homework allowed. I spoke with the staff on campus and they spoke with her and things did improve over time. My living situation, though not ideal, did not have much of an overall negative impact on my time here! I simply feel responsible to make the CIS staff aware of the issues that arose for me so that future students, especially those with greater expectations for a home stay, aren't disappointed and left feeling homesick over their living situation.

Cultural Immersion:
We were offered fantastic tours and cultural events at least once a week which were informative and enjoyable! I especially liked the cooking class!

Program Administration:
The directors and staff at BIC were always present on campus, happy to answer question and concerns. I felt secure knowing that I was "in the hands" of such responsible - yet adventurous - adults.

Health and Safety:
When I was out of my home stay or away from the group, I made sure to take personal caution with myself and my belongings, as anyone should in a larger city. Inside my home stay and during group trips or events, I never once felt as though my safety was at risk.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

living situation

My roomates and I were quite unhappy with our living situation. We were told we would have 2 bathrooms, and we only had 1 between 5 girls. We also saw other apartments and our was much smaller in comparison.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    10

Barcelona

Great city to study in,CIS BIC program is very small and you only take classes with other students in BIC. (6 ppl classes) UAB is the larger university with more diversity

Health and Safety:
Pick picketers

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Barcelona Studies

I had an amazing experience in Barcelona. I loved the culture and people I met over here. It was definitely the best experience of my life, hands down. The only thing that I did not like about the program was the attendance policy. Your grade should not be affected that much for a couple times missing class over the limit. A lot of kids traveled and missed a few classes and now they are getting half a letter grade off because of it. Maybe if it affected class participation but not your whole grade.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    6

Worth it.

I loved my experience in Barcelona. The people are incredible, I learned Spanish faster than I ever had before, and ate more good food than I should have. And if you want to take your other classes in English, BIC is great for that.

Academics:
The Spanish language content is fantastic. However, the other courses such as Great Artists, and Civilization & Culture could do with a revamp of the content.

Living Situation:
I had the most amazing host family on Creu Coberta. I would recommend this family highly to anyone who isn't intimidated by a bunch of strong personalities and loud conversations. I love them more than I ever could have imagined.

Cultural Immersion:
There aren't enough opportunities to meet other Spaniards. Even while trying fairly hard to meet Spanish people outside of class, there should be more structured opportunities. I was always surrounded by Americans

Program Administration:
Our program administrators were fantastic. Rich and Laura are extremely helpful and capable administrators, and they're very concerned with improving the program

Health and Safety:
You're perfectly fine as long as you aren't stupid. People get pickpocketed a lot, but I've never felt in danger of anything else

Social Life:
All of my social life was with Americans. I would have preferred to have met more Spaniards, but it's really difficult to do without some help from the program

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Social Life

    4

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Academics

    4

Spain

Beautiful city, awesome staff. The academic program times as well as the homework amount was situated in such a way that it made it difficult to enjoy the city in daylight. Some of the tours overlapped and I wish they had planned that a bit better.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    5

The time of my life

Studying abroad is something I would reccommend to anyone. I have learned so much about myself, seen so much around the world and have the best time of my life.

Academics:
The classes were at a good level which gave us time to explore the city and travel. The teachers were awesome but I would much rather have preferred bigger classes and a bigger school. The small setting prevented us from meeting a wide range of people.

Living Situation:
Our apartment was not in the most ideal location. It was close to a popular placa, but the area contained a lot of creepy people, especially at night. My roommates and I felt unsafe at times waking past the large groups of people crowding the street.

Cultural Immersion:
It is party my fault for not being immersed in the culture because I chose to not do a home stay, but the school setting prevented us from meeting international students.

Program Administration:
The program staff were all very nice and helpful when we confronted them with issues or questions. They were always easy to get a hold of and willing to help!

Health and Safety:
Again, the location of our apartment did not make us feel very safe with all of the creepy men who would constantly shout as us as we walked home.

Social Life:
Our school setting prevented us from interacting with as many international students as I had expected.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    5

The time of my life.

My time in Barcelona was amazing. This city, while known for it's amazing night life, is also full of rich history and culture. Experiencing the Catalan language, food, etc. was great, and different than just learning about just the Spanish. Traveling was always easy to do. Hoping over to Italy, or any country really was cheap, and always an adventure. My favorite was the trip the program gave us to go to Morocco. Getting to see the Muslim and Islamic culture was very eye opening! I learned so much about myself while over here. I can't believe that I'm going home, because let's be honest...this is my new second home. The people I've met and the places I've seen will always hold a special place in my heart and I can't wait to return here someday.

Academics:
The classes were very easy (which they should've been) which made it easier for me to get to know the city and enjoy my time here.

Living Situation:
Even though the apartment was alright, and there is only so much you can do in Europe, I was a bit upset with the neighborhood we were placed in. Other apartments were in a lot better/more cultural places. I didn't feel safe a lot of the time here. There was always a group of 10-15 men outside our front door being loud and obnoxious; one night they even tried to get into the apartment with us which was very scary. The bar next to us even caught on fire. I just really wish we had been in a better neighborhood.

Cultural Immersion:
This is partly my fault considering I chose to stay in an apartment, not a homestay. I just didn't feel like I got to talk to/meet as many people here as I had originally hoped.

Program Administration:
They were always there and ready to help when I needed it.

Health and Safety:
My apartment was ok for the most part, but like I said before, it was sketchy at night and the men outside of it were very unsettling.

Social Life:
The group we had was great, but it was EXTREMELY small. The Barcelona Semester was only one group of kids all in classes together. We weren't immersed with other programs, or other international students, so it was a LOT harder to meet people outside of where we were going to school.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

You Get What You Give

Studying abroad was an amazing experience, our program as compared to many others was very small. But this to me can be a very good or bad thing. The more time you put into it and take advantage of the people there to help you the more you got out of it. Being in such a small group we were able to work one on one with our teachers and program directors making it a much more valuable experience.

Academics:
Most of my professors were overall very helpful, some more entertaining than others. The only downside was this curriculum was extremely easy, I did not feel challenged in the slightest.

Living Situation:
I lived in a home stay. Nothing was wrong with it at all, it was pretty tight living quarters but nothing bad. I did not get to know them very well, as compared to other families I would say mine was no quite as great but without seeing other families it was good!

Cultural Immersion:
I loved being paired with a student from UB and doing all of the workshops/exchanges on their campus.

Program Administration:
I can not say enough as to how helpful our program staff was and so personable!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

CIS was a good program

I recommend CIS, they were good. Nice living situation, good school, good program.

Academics:
Not too many courses to chose from, strict attendance policy. Overall, good professors, learning environment, though.

Living Situation:
Ideal for students

Cultural Immersion:
Perfecto

Program Administration:
Muy bien

Health and Safety:
Safe and sound

Social Life:
I partied hard

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    9

I had an amazing experience studying abroad and I had a lot of personal growth

I wouldn't change this experience for a life time, I made the effort to go out and see knew things so thats what I did. There were definitely some ups and downs but in the end its worth it. I may not have learned a lot educationally but as an individual I learned a lot about myself, my culture, and other cultures.

Academics:
The classes were very easy and didn't really ask for much work out of the classroom. I feel like I could have been challenged more. The classes were interesting for the most part and the teachers were great. I don't think the spanish classes were organized well, I was in a class with people much higher than me and the class was very rushed.

Living Situation:
The food was awesome! Mom host mom was very nice and made it very comfortable to stay with. Sometimes she was a bit over whelming, I also asked for no smoking and she smoked in the kitchen at nights. My host mom also did many nice things for us and really treated us like her daughters. The commute was a little ridiculous, it was very far away from everything

Cultural Immersion:
I feel like I learned a lot about the culture but it was very hard to meet local people because we were always surrounded by Americans. I think there could have been more cultural excursions. Everyone knew we were Americans so we were treated like Americans. I really enjoyed learning about a new culture and I feel that if I knew the language better I could have done more.

Program Administration:
Everyone was very nice and helpful. They always were able to answer questions and be there to talk to when needed. Could have made more of an effort to get to know the students.

Health and Safety:
They give their warnings but thats about it. You have to just make smart choices and be aware of whats going on.

Social Life:
I made the most amazing friends. We did and saw so many cool things. Going out at night is really fun but gets old in the end. The best parts for me was just exploring with my friends. These people have changed my life for good.