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IES Abroad Barcelona - Liberal Arts & Business
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IES Abroad Barcelona - Liberal Arts & Business

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Living and Breathing Barcelona

My experience studying abroad with IES Abroad was seamless and immersive. I lived with a host mother, who I still remain in contact with. Within my first few weeks I ventured out in the city with IES led programs - such as a tour of La Boqueria market. I noticed myself falling more in love with Barcelona throughout the semester. It’s a ginormous city, yet it was so easy to navigate on foot, and IES provided us with all the best resources to find out way around.

Another huge component of studying abroad is the actual studying. The resources, study spaces, professor interactions and overall course material was extremely beneficial. I loved how fun the professors made the courses, as well as the new knowledge I gained.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

An Unforgettable Journey

Throughout my college years I was never set on studying abroad. I was always a homebody and choose to go to a college that was close to my hometown. However, last minute I decided to submit my application for IES Abroad Barcelona and follow through with the journey. It was hands down the best decision I have made in my life. Barcelona has it all: endless history, great sites to see, amazing beaches, and a fun night-life. It is a place where you can never stop exploring. The streets are magical and the city is filled with welcoming natives. This city made me feel as home. My program, IES Abroad Barcelona, made me feel at home. I met new people from my program. These people who where once new faces are my best friends today. The staff and professors at IES Abroad Barcelona will do everything in their power to make sure you are getting the most out of studying abroad. While they still have expectations, they understand that you will be taking time to travel and explore the world. I am so happy with my experience and I know you will not regret it if you choose IES Abroad Barcelona- Liberal Arts & Business as you study away program!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    10

Identity

I have never thought about I will be able to go visit Barcelona in a much more meaningful way. Being able to visit my dream city for honeymoon (such a girly dream, but it's true) as a student is way more fun than just a tourist for 3-5days. I get to stay with a homestay that do not speak English, which helps me improve my body language and Spanish quite a lot. I have no experience in Spanish at all before going. But during those two months, I can at least have some small conversation with others. I tried so many things while I am there, food, city life, night life, and more importantly is being able to figure things out by yourself like an independent adult. I also use one of the weekend to go visit Belgium with the friends I made there. However, while having tons of fun there, we also study a lot as well, which is pretty nice for someone want to get some extra credit for school. It's really nice that I can study and play at the same time in a foreign country, and still can be able to get credits. I also made a tons of international friends there as well, I think that enrich me a lot more as a student since I get to communicate with them and know about different culture and opinions. In addition, throughout the journey, I realized that I found myself or discovered a lot of things "about me".
Overall, the whole experience just amazing. Even when I was sick for couple weeks, there are teachers, staff or other resources that you can use. I would definitely go again with IES. LOVE IT!!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

My spring semester in Barcelona, Spain

I studied abroad spring of 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, and I could not recommend a program more! From enthusiastic and helpful staff to simply being in an upbeat city, it truly elevated my undergrad experience. Although academics may be surprisingly difficult to students, there was plenty of time to immerse yourself in the culture of the city and also to Travel! The program also created opportunities for students to meet and travel with other students, as well as explore important aspects of the city! Additionally, I never spoke Spanish before this semester, which turned out totally fine, but also allowed me to learn a lot of another language in a relatively short time! If I could do it again I would definitely pick IES Abroad Barcelona.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Once in a Lifetime Experience

My time in Barcelona through IES Abroad was absolutely phenomenal. I was looking to study abroad but as a rehabilitation psychology major, I worried that I would not be able to find a program that fit such an uncommon major. However, with the IES Liberal Arts program in Barcelona, I was able to complete classes that counted toward my major. I hadn't been abroad before either, but after I got there and saw how beautiful the city was and the people there waiting to welcome me, I had no worries at all. I had a host mom and lived in an apartment in Lesseps, a beautiful neighborhood near Parc Guell. She helped me practice my Spanish and become acquainted with the city. My classes at IES were conveniently located right in the center of the city (Placa de Catalunya). I was also able to take a class at Universitat de Barcelona as well, taught by a local Spanish teacher. I only had a little Spanish before coming to this program, so I took all my classes in English-- but by the time I left, my Spanish had improved tremendously. IES also offered subsidized programs as well, which I highly recommend! I was so surprised at how many students did not take advantage of those Friday or weekend trips. They plan day outings or full weekend trips for you to go on, and you only pay a subsidized fee for the entire thing-- you don't even need to lift a finger for planning. All in all, I highly recommend studying abroad Barcelona. It is an experience that will open up new experiences for you and allow you to grow and mature in ways that aren't possible at your home campus. Studying abroad is an experience that gives you so many opportunities that you wouldn't be able to have otherwise. If you're considering study abroad, I can't recommend this program and city highly enough. It's a memory of my life that I treasure every single day.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Guided Abroad

If you are planning on studying abroad for the first time, I highly recommend this program. They do an amazing job of walking you through predeparture information, paperwork, etc. They also provide you with tons of resources when it comes to getting to know the city and the culture. Barcelona was the perfect place to be - easy to travel to and from, but also very rich with activity and places to explore! I wish I could've spent more time abroad. Before going abroad, 4 months seemed like a really long time, but in hindsight, I should've planned to stay even longer.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

New lease on life

IES abroad was single handedly the most life changing experiences that i have ever embarked on. I started the program with a slight idea of what i wanted to do and knowing few words of Spanish. When i was finished with my time in Barcelona i was conversationally fluent and what i thought i wanted to do had completely changed. I lived with two of the most amazing human beings i have ever encountered and even in their later stage of life you could see that they still had this amazing joy for life. The culture is unlike anything in the world and to everyone who asks i respond with "you have to see it to understand it". Going abroad is so much more than learning whats in your classes and hanging out with friends from your school, go out, meet new people, take full advantage of your time and choose a program who wants to help you fulfill everything that you want to accomplish while abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

Te amo, Barcelona

I had wanted to study abroad since first applying to colleges my senior year of high school. When it finally came time, for some reason I fell in love with the idea of going to Spain - and then specifically Barcelona. I really had no idea what to expect when I got there, but I ended up having the greatest 4 months of my life so far. I studied in Barcelona for the fall semester of my junior year (2016), and am so so thankful I did it with IES. Barcelona is incredible - I soaked in the Spanish culture and special Catalan traditions, plus lived like a local in a city that is very metropolitan but somehow still connected to the past. The sights are so beautiful, and the people are so kind. There is always a hustle & bustle, especially in the area right where the IES Abroad center is located (the center of the city - Placa Catalunya), that allowed me to blend right in. I lived with a host family who I now consider my home away from home, and was able to pick up the language to the point of fluency by the end. Thanks to IES and the many course offerings, I was able to learn Spanish and about the culture and history of Barcelona/Spain, while also taking classes that transferred back to my core curriculum and major classes at my home university. The facility was organized, clean, and had both classrooms and desks/socializing areas - just like a real college! The faculty and staff were so supportive, friendly, caring, and really just there for us and wanted us to have the best time. There was also no class on Fridays, which gave me the opportunity to travel to different places on the weekend. I went to 12 different cities, and 7 different countries in all, but each time I was excited when the plane landed in Barcelona and glad to be back home. This feeling was, I'm sure, a culmination of all the benefits this program provided - my host family, the city I know and love, the people on the street, and the program/center. IES Abroad Barcelona - Liberal Arts & Business made this the best study abroad experience I could've hoped for, and I hope it does the same for you.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    8

My semester in Barcelona-Fall 2016

I studied abroad in Barcelona for the fall semester of 2016. Unlike a lot of programs that offer a select number of classes, IES Barcelona Liberal Arts & Business offers an endless list of courses to fit the interests and major requirements of every student. Through this program, I was able to intern part-time for a local apartment rental company, an experience that connected me to the city in a really special way, along with broadening my professional network across seas. Because the program invites so many students to participate, the student body in this program is very large and therefore chooses students of varying schools, backgrounds and fields of study. In Barcelona, you never run out of things to do. I wrote a “Barcelona Bucket List” that I got about 20% of the way through, which only gives me an excuse to return in the near future! The location of Barcelona in relation to the rest of Europe is ideal, as it takes less than 2 hours by plane to get to all the main European destinations, and the flights are often extremely inexpensive. And since there are no classes on Fridays, you have 3 out of the 7 days of the week to travel! Regardless of where I traveled on the weekends, I was always so excited to return to my favorite city for the start of a new week. IES Barcelona Liberal Arts & Business has all the aspects of a study abroad program that I was looking for, and I know countless other students who feel the same way!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    8

My second home In Barcelona

I loved my time in Barcelona and I feel so lucky to have seen and done so much in only 4 months! Staying with a host family allowed me to get to know locals and practice my Spanish every day! I didn't have any issues with the Catalan language, as people were understanding that I was there to practice Spanish. My classes at IES Abroad helped me learn about the city around me & I especially enjoyed the field trips into the city! IES Abroad helped me find volunteer opportunities within the city which helped me broaden my horizons. Taking 2 classes at the University Pompeu Fabra also gave me a chance to meet local students and experience the Spanish university system. I am really glad I chose this program because Barcelona was a great city for me, and the faculty at IES Abroad helped me experience the city in ways that wouldn't have been possible without their connections. I highly recommend a homestay.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Barcelona - The best four months of my life

When I applied to college, I knew one of the things I wanted to do while in school was study abroad. I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime and I would not have this type of opportunity to travel for an extended period of time again. I decided to study abroad with IES for a few reasons. One, they were the highest rated program, two, I knew I wanted to go to Barcelona, and three, a friend who study abroad with IES suggested it.
I could not have asked for a better program or a more enriching experience. IES was incredibly helpful with all the pre-departure paperwork and provided me with all the information I needed to feel prepared for a semester in Europe. I would email a different question almost every week and the IES office would always get back to me within a day or two.
Once I arrived in Barcelona, IES was there to help make it a smooth transition. With different activities such as cooking classes, hikes, bike rides, and walking tours of different neighborhoods, I had the opportunity to meet friends and become acquainted with my new city. IES also offers different weekend trips to various cities and countries, which helped make it affordable to travel outside of Barcelona. These trips were very well organized and so much fun!
I learned so much about Barcelona from the classroom as well. Professors really integrated the history and culture of city into courses. My Spanish also improved remarkably, both in and out of the classroom.
Experiencing and living in a whole new culture for an extended period of time was truly life changing. My perspective of the world changed and I came to understand what it means to be a global citizen. If you are interested in studying abroad, do it! IES provided me with the information and tools to help make my time abroad successful and I know they can help make your study abroad dreams come true.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Community

    9

My experience in Spain

Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I took the big step to go to Barcelona, Spain for my 2016 spring semester of college. It was hard to leave my family, but once I made it and met my loving host mom and great roommates I knew I would be alright until April. I was able to not only improve my Spanish, but I got to do so in an actual Spanish speaking country. The Spanish culture was what I enjoyed the most. They have a collectivist society which was something new. They take the time out to get to know their neighbors and care for one another. When eating they actually sat together and talked instead of being on their phones. It was a great experience being abroad. I learned so much about myself that I may not have known until later in life if I had not gone. I am not fine with traveling alone, spending the night in an airport, or hoping on a plane and going to another country. It was all worth it.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

My home away from home

My name is Maddie and I studied in Barcelona, Spain with IES's Liberal Arts & Business program for the Spring 2016 semester. I found Barcelona rather intimidating when I first arrived in El Prat airport on January 7, 2016. When I met the IES administrators, however, everything changed. The staff at IES answered all my burning questions, directed me to my new home and best of all, spoke fluent English. The staff at IES were staples in my day to day life in Barcelona. Be that my lovely Spanish teacher, the staff who guided IES through different cities in Spain, my Barcelona Cultural Companion or the staff making me emergency doctor appointments. Through IES guidance I was able to complete everything on my "Barcelona Must See List" and more. Including an amazing castel festival at La Sagrada Familia just two blocks from my flat! Hi!

My time in Spain only enhanced my understanding of international economics and international affairs, both of which are my degree focuses. The program afforded me many cultural immersion opportunities while also permitting me to create my own adventures! Happy "studying!"

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Interning and studying abroad in Barcelona

I studied with IES Abroad for my spring semester in 2016. In addition to studying at IES Abroad, I also interned at a children's teaching hospital in Barcelona, which was an incredible but emotional experience. The internship advisors were extremely helpful when assisting me with finding an internship and communicating with supervisors on-site. I would highly recommend the internship program at IES, but be prepared to have less of a social life than other students who are studying in Barcelona. Academics at IES were much more difficult than I expected, but I loved my teachers and they were pretty approachable if I ever had an issue or questions. Overall, interning and studying abroad with IES Abroad was an enriching, eye-opening experience. You will work hard but get a lot out of your experience, and I would recommend it to anyone ready to explore new cultures and study in a new country.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    3

  • Community

    8

A program with a few hiccups, but exceptional staff

Going abroad can be tough. Not everything is going to be just as you imagined, or wished, it would be. But the best way to make the most out of every situation is to make it yours.

Studying in Barcelona was a fantastic experience made all the more better by the community of friends and IES staff that surrounded me. IES provided me the opportunity to see (and build) my first castelle, visit ancient Roman ruins, explore antique cathedrals, volunteer in a children's hospital, and run my very first 15k...in SPAIN! I enjoyed cultural excursions to ancient cities and took in the sights and wonders of local Barcelona city life.

In regards to the IES staff - While I will admit that I had a rough homestay experience, the staff at IES were very willing to listen and help me in whatever way I needed - one person even made the 30 minute commute over to my homestay on a Saturday when I was severely sick. Another member allowed me to use her personal scanner for documents I needed to send back to the U.S. ASAP, and yet another spent nearly an hour helping me plan an independent excursion along the coast of Spain. This kind of dedication to students is unmatched and I cannot speak highly enough of the amazing character of the IES staff.

Academically, IES prides itself in being rigorous. This rigor comes from a set of requirements that each course has to adhere to, but does not always do so in the most efficient way. For example, having to write 7-12 page essays in most of your classes is not ideal when you wait last minute and have to study for finals. This was a problem many of my study abroad peers fell into.
Most of the professors I had clearly laid out the guidelines for the course they taught. If they didn't, then that professor turned out to not be very organized and the course ended up being exceptionally easy (this happened with one course I took).

Socially, the amount of cultural excursions and day trips in fantastic! Many of my study abroad peers did not take advantage of these opportunities and severely missed out. I would highly recommend signing up for as many as you are interested in (and can afford). Most are well-organized and best to sign up for via IES. Keep in mind, though, that sometimes it could be just as easy (and fun) to get a group of friends and visit a place on your own time and dime.

In all, IES Barcelona is a very well-established program with exceptional staff. There may be a few organizational hiccups within the program (such as outdated course syllabi and excursion info), but these pale in comparison to the wonderful experience you are going to have by taking the effort to make your study abroad experience your own.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Abroad at last

I have wanted to study abroad in Spain ever since I began taking Spanish in the fifth grade, so when I was accepted into IES’s Liberal Arts & Business Program in Barcelona, I was thrilled. In the months leading up to takeoff, I busily checked off pre-departure lists, scheduling appointments to obtain my student visa and everything in-between. All of this, I have to say, was made a great deal easier by the help of my study abroad advisor, who was in contact with me many a time before my departure date. My emotions were, predictably, a mess, the day that I hugged my parents goodbye, but armed with a 2015 picture-filled guide to Barcelona and a jumbo-sized bag of pretzel m & m’s I felt relatively ready.
Arrival in Barcelona was a frenzy of color and smiles- all of my peers were riding out a delusional joy-filled exhaustive state, and Cèsar himself was there to greet us. Then came our first chance to actually use the Spanish that we had been practicing in our classrooms for quite some time: the taxi ride to what would be our home for the next four months. I’d be lying if I said it went particularly smoothly, but luckily enough, my co-passenger and I safely made it to our destination on Gran Vía, directly across from the very classy Bingo Billiards.
The integration into the culture and vibrancy of Barcelona was swift and wonderful- and I can say that IES facilitated all of this with their helpful introductory meetings and fun, free activities, from a cycling tour of the city to a gorgeous Mediterranean lunch overlooking the sea. From all of these engaging, informative, trips, I met many of my peers, and began to forge relationships that would only grow throughout my time there.
Academically, I was able to take fascinating classes and learn from wonderful teachers. From Sports & Society in Spain to Banditry & the Mafias in the Mediterranean- I was able to delve into topics in an environment that was open to questioning and dialogue.
What truly made my experience so magical, however, wasn’t necessarily the incredible museums and beaches and restaurants and castles and nights out. No, it wasn’t the mouth-watering food or breath-taking views (though those certainly did help). No, it was the people that I met. My professors, my peers, my friends. I came into study abroad not knowing what to expect but eager to find out- and what I was met with was more intelligence, kindness, and hilarity then I could have ever hoped for. I realized how you can click with those who you thought you would never click with, how integral just being able to try is, and how each and every person and each and every part of the world has so many wonderful things to offer. IES made this all possible- and I can’t recommend it enough.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

The perfect city

Before studying abroad, I could never have predicted that I would come to call another country home. The 3 and a half months I spent in Barcelona were the greatest of my life, and I wouldn’t trade the experience I had there for anything.
Though I was nervous to leave my family and friends, I felt completely prepared for my travels thanks to IES’s detailed pre-departure information. Before, during, and after the program, IES was there for students every step of the way. The staff was attentive and genuinely cared about their students’ safety, health and happiness.
Another great thing about IES is how much care they put into finding students the proper living accommodations. I was placed in a homestay in Horta, a neighborhood in the Northeastern corner of Barcelona. It didn’t matter to me that Horta was far away from the IES center because my homestay was absolutely perfect. My host mom immediately made my roommate and me feel at home. She not only taught me to speak Spanish, but also many countless things about culture, food, kindness, family, and life. She was the happiest, most kind hearted person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
The city of Barcelona is unspeakably beautiful. I was worried about living in a city, especially considering how prevalent pickpocketing is known to be in Barcelona. It turned out that within a few weeks I had a thorough understanding of the layout of the city, public transportation, how to protect your belongings, and, most importantly, how to stay safe. The city offers never ending options for things to do, sights to see, places to eat, and stores to shop. And if you do want to escape the city for a day, Barcelona is located just south of Costa Brava – a must-visit.
I would encourage anyone and everyone to do this program. Barcelona is such a diverse and exciting city – there is something for everyone here. It was also a great location for weekend travel, since, as a big city, there were reasonably priced flights from El Prat Airport to anywhere you could want to go. Then again, you might find yourself in this city not wanting to go anywhere at all…

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    10

Best four months of my life!

I had an amazing four months in Barcelona with IES. The housing option I chose – homestay – allowed me to experience Spanish culture and work on my Spanish speaking abilities. The other housing option available, apartments (which many of my friends had), made it easier to socialize since guests are not allowed in the homestay. IES also understood that we were there to experience Europe, not just to take classes. They gave us every Friday off, allowing us to take weekend trips. IES never assigned an overbearing workload or made anything too difficult, so I was able to spend a lot of time experiencing Barcelona and immersing myself in Spanish culture. At the same time, I was impressed by the quality of instruction I did receive. The instructors were intelligent and highly qualified, and we often had "field studies" in which we would go out as a class into the city and learn something about Barcelona. Overall, I was very impressed with my semester in Barcelona. It was the best four months of my life!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Community

    8

A whirlwind ride...

Barcelona is a spectacular city full of historical, architectural, cultural, and artistic significance. It's a great place to start learning Spanish, though not the best for advanced Spanish speakers because the city is so international. For the most part, I was satisfied with the program itself - I loved my photography class and Spanish class, and my literature courses were engaging. My work-travel life was well balanced, and I felt like I was learning valuable things for my major while I was exploring the world. Plus, Barcelona is just a fantastic place to live: beach, mountains, urban and ancient buildings, parks and gardens, counterculture...there's something that everyone can find and enjoy!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Living in Barcelona: An Irreplaceable Experience

When I began college, never in a million years did I think I would study abroad in Europe. When I decided to, I just had a good feeling that I would enjoy Spain and this city. What could be better than being on the Mediterranean? Nothing actually, it took some adjusting to but I came to love this city and my surroundings.
IES did a great job at getting students settled in and helping them adjust. Upon arrival at the airport, they gave you directions on exactly what to do. The facilitators were very helpful and told students great places to go, where to get the best food, and the unsafe places to avoid. Professors were also very understanding with schoolwork and projects, as they knew students would want to be traveling to other places in Europe. The facility was located in the heart of the city, and looked very new. It was very clean, had computer labs, study lounges, and clean classrooms. It was located at the center of everything. I went on several IES weekend trips, day trips, and after school adventures, and I had nothing but positive experiences. The chaperones were great, everything was planned out well, and you got to see the heart of where you were visiting. They provided many opportunities to go to other cities like Madrid, Granada, or the Basque Country, but also local things to do like wine tasting, cooking class, and hikes within the city. They really helped me to go out and learn the city I was living in. The potential they gave you to explore was the best part.
My living situation was a home stay in an apartment with an 84 year old woman who was the sweetest thing. My roommate and I ate dinner with her every night as we had nice dinner conversations, only in Spanish. Speaking in Spanish also helped me learn the city and the people within in.
IES turned into a very fun experience for me, where I got to meet new people in the same position as me, who also wanted to explore and learn a new lifestyle. Barcelona is an amazing city, with so many opportunities of having fun and exploring. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to this day. IES was a great program who will help you explore the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

If only I could go back

I always knew that I would be studying abroad at some point during my college career. Coming in, I did not know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to explore and fulfill a dream. I chose Barcelona because of my limited knowledge in Spanish as well as the desire to be located in Europe for a semester. I enrolled in IES, at first, only because it was the study abroad program that affiliated with my university. After leaving this program, I came to the realization that IES is one of the best programs offered for studying abroad around the world.

This program challenges you not only academically, but also personally. Being able to be in classes with no more than 25 students was a big transition for me, and I was finally able to establish a relationship with every one of my professors. If you go to a large school like I do, I would highly recommend choosing a program like IES.

I was also challenged by many of my professors to experience new things while studying in Spain. Everyone encouraged seeking new places to go, but to learn something about yourself while on your journey. I even found enough courage to travel one weekend by myself. Before this semester of studying abroad, I would have never imagined doing something like this, but now I know that I can travel to so many different places and not have to worry about taking care of myself.

Picking how to stay while in Barcelona can be challenging, but the best choice is the residence hall. I made a group of friends from students all over the US as well as others from Spain. Living in an apartment or a homestay does not give you the ability to meet and live with more than a few people for the whole semester, and that can be a problem at times. Being able to see so many different people each and every day brought me so much joy, and I would not change that for the world.

The IES center is also perfectly located in the city of Barcelona. Right at the tip of Plaza Catalunya, I was able to walk over to La Rambla during my lunch break as well as exploring the Gothic District for hours on end. You can find almost anything you may want or need in just this one place. Barcelona is becoming one of those cities where every study abroad student in Europe puts on their travel list. This city certainly cannot be seen in just one weekend. It took me an entire semester to barely see all of the city.

Studying in Barcelona was absolutely amazing, but it would not have been as great if it was not for IES. This program did everything in their power to make sure that every student was enjoying their semester. They truly do care and they show it with their overall care and persistence to provide every type of opportunity possible for their students. Choose Barcelona. Choose IES. Enjoy a semester you will never forget.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

An Incredible Experience: Barcelona

I never thought that I would study abroad. I could not imagine leaving my school during January term, a mere 4 weeks, much less months! But, on a whim, I decided to take a leap of faith and study in Spain. It was life-changing. I know that everyone says that, but it truly was.

I was put into a homestay where I became like family. My homestay parents would do literally anything for us and told us that we were their children. I learned more Spanish than in could hope for, watching game shows at dinner and sharing stories while watching football games.

My professors were amazing. All of them were so helpful and really wanted us to become integrated and feel a part of the Spanish culture while we were there. They understood the balance between a vigorous academic setting, and allowing enough time for us to explore outside the classroom. I never felt as if I was too overwhelmed.

I traveled to different countries, met people from all over the world, and gained a whole new perspective. I am now, more than ever, invested in understanding international issues and have learned the importance of being knowledgeable we are about the events taking place around us. My eyes were opened to so much, and it is something that has changed my life in many ways.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A True Barcelona Experience

I had the privilege of studying abroad last semester with IES Abroad in Barcelona, Spain. My first contact with IES Abroad began on a positive note and continued throughout the fall. While I was still in the states, I was emailed by an IES Abroad representative who answered all of my questions-and I had plenty-by both email and phone. The process of acquiring a student visa, filling out paperwork and packing all the right things was made so much more painless with the help of IES’s willingness to answer any questions I had. When I arrived in Barcelona, I was greeted in the airport by IES staff members and given instructions on how to find my homestay. I lived with an 80 year old host mom who spoke only Spanish. As a beginner level Spanish speaker, I was originally very intimidated by this. However, I came to appreciate her inability to speak English as it forced me to practice Spanish and made me a much better Spanish speaker! By the end of the program, I could communicate with her very well, and that is one of my proudest accomplishments in Barcelona. I took five classes at the IES Abroad Center. The classes had “Field Study” components that gave students the opportunity to travel throughout Barcelona and physically see the material we were learning about in class. This was especially useful for my Architecture class. My professors were great and really cared about my success in the classes. They were extremely down to earth and caring. The work load was manageable and I had plenty of time to explore the beautiful city. The IES staff really goes above and beyond to take care of their students. I felt very safe and cared for throughout the semester. Any problems I had I knew I had someone to talk to who genuinely cared and could come up with a solution for me. IES also organized several events for students outside of class that were either free or very decently priced to give students a chance to get to know each other and immerse ourselves in the culture. I hiked several gorgeous mountains and ate way too much yummy Spanish food thanks to IES’s generosity. It didn't take long at all for IES to feel like my family while I was in Spain. I will always be so grateful to have had such an awesome semester abroad, and I owe so much of my gratitude to IES for the memories I will never forget.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

I wouldn't do anything differently

I took the biggest leap of faith traveling abroad my senior year. I didn't know anything about IES, I didn't know anyone else in the program, or going abroad for that matter. I was assigned to live in a home stay, by choice, and all I knew was the ladies' name and address before I arrived. And yet, I truly enjoyed every single second in Spain and with IES.

IES is there for you throughout your entire journey. They provided us with programs during orientation and throughout the semester to make friends and bond. They gave us useful tips and advice to getting around. It was so easy to bond with the administration and professors and you could really tell they want to be there for you and help. I felt as if I was at my home university.

The IES center, where classes are held was awesome. Brand new, great computers and free wifi (which every study abroad student learns to appreciate). Classes, for me, were enjoyable, yet challenging. The professors understand you are studying abroad but that doesn't stop them from wanting you to learn. I managed to do work and have a social life and go out. 200 people in my program and everyone was so friendly and nice. I became friends with a lot of people through classes, programs, home stays, and night life. It was really an awesome time.

My home stay mom was so loving and welcoming, I like to refer to her as my "abuela" or grandmother. The first day she told me "My house is your house." Her cooking was really good, and definitely enough food. She really wanted to get to know you and hear about your day. She was so funny and understanding. It was really amazing only speaking Spanish too. Definitely helpful and a great way to practice. If you are debating on living in a home stay, do it. All my friends were in home stays and we all went out together almost every night.

I wouldn't have had as good of an experience abroad without IES. Everything about it was great. Even their trips to other cities throughout Spain. IES made my study abroad experience unforgettable.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Amazing Semester in Barcelona

Studying abroad in Barcelona was definitely one of the best decisions I have made. Although I was nervous to go from a small town to Barcelona, IES did a good job of helping students transition. I was very worried about having to ride the metro to classes but it was quick and easy. I loved living in a homestay and fulling immersing myself in the Spanish culture by only speaking Spanish in my homestay and eating traditional Spanish food cooked by my host mom for breakfast and dinner. At the end of our stay my host mom even taught my roommates and I how to cook our favorite dishes like paella. The program was nice because we had Fridays off allowing for longer weekend trips throughout Europe. I would strongly recommend going on the weekend trips IES recommends because everything is scheduled for you in advance.