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Integrated Studies Program - Barcelona, Spain
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Integrated Studies Program - Barcelona, Spain

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

I wish I could have stayed!

My professors at UPF were all terribly impressive and understanding. Overall, I thought the workload was suitable for my class standing and I found the course content to be engaging. However, one class was far more elementary than I would have liked.

Adriana, the director was very friendly and adamant about ensuring we had the best experience possible. After she took her maternity leave we worked with the Interim Director, Laura, she was amazing. I found her very easy to talk to and she was kind enough to recommend different spots around the city that I might be interested in. I felt cared for and very supported.

I lived with a single woman in her apartment near Sagrada Familia. My room was small and we shared a bathroom, which is not uncommon. She was excellent cook and I enjoyed watching tv with her during dinner. Occasionally, I felt uncomfortable in my home stay but we were always able to talk through it. She was very accommodating.

My homestay had great food and my host mom always packed me a lunch I enjoyed. The UPF cafeteria had cheap options that were also tasty. In comparison to other European cities Barcelona was about mid range. Depending on where you go you can have a decent meal and drink under 20 euros. I spent a lot of time dedicated to finding the best Mexican food in the city and I was reasonable successful.

I established a routine early on and found it comforting that people remembered me. I did not make friends with locals until the end of my stay, which I regret. As most of my classes were with other Americans it was hard to branch out. My host family helped me understand the culture better and I even picked up some Catalan.

The pharmacies are great! I never visited a doctor but my local pharmacist was always able to help when I had a cold or upset stomach. I did visit a therapist towards the end of my stay. She was fantastic and I am very happy I was encouraged to go by my Interim Director.

Overall, I felt pretty safe in the city. I almost never walked alone at night though. Catcalling is pretty common in Spain, but I've grown accustomed to it being from a big city. There was an incident were I was groped on the metro, but that was not the norm for the other girls in my program.

SSA was always very helpful and interested in helping me succeed. They also gave me a generous scholarship that made my experience possible. My speaking partner was very friendly and eager to talk with me.