Review Overall Rating
Culturally Impressive Summer!
For a chance to roam free in a culturally rich environment while still having the security of a staff who cares, CIS Abroad delivers. And then some. The program places students in a university with other English-speaking international students, and the course material and workload still allows for plenty of time to explore the foreign landscape freely. It was nice having spare time to wander the streets on my own or with friends, talk with the locals, and see the sites that I wanted to see. Yet, the program also provided activities and excursions to enhance the study abroad experience. Activities introduced students to different areas of the foreign city, glimpses into the local lifestyle and cuisine (delicious), and events that showcased the best that the city had to offer (in Barcelona's case, flamenco shows, outdoor markets, and cultural events like festivals and art showcases). I loved that the program also took students to nearby places for daytrips or weekend excursions. I would highly suggest a homestay, as this gives students a complete immersion in the foreign city. I had the best time of my life, and I would recommend this program to others. One thing I would suggest the program improve is the quality of communication they provide to students prior to the trip. However, once abroad, the program staff did everything in their power to answer any questions or doubts.
I loved my classes at UAB. I would have preferred to be in a university that also included Spanish-speaking students. All of the students in my university were English-speaking, and most were Americans.
Before my trip abroad, communicating with anyone in the CIS Abroad Office was very difficult. I wrote many emails and left many voicemails, but most of them were unanswered. Upon being accepted, I still did not receive the amount of information and attention I think I should have received. I did not know much about my program, UAB, or homestay until I was actually in Spain. I would suggest that the CIS Abroad staff make a greater effort to keep participants updated and assured of their trip.
My homestay was perfectly suited to my personality and personal preferences. I also loved that other international students stayed at my homestay as well. It provided for a very international house! My Senora was kind, generous, and encouraging of my trying to improve my Spanish-speaking skills. We will definitely keep in touch, and we feel like family now!
I think that CIS Abroad had a fantastic balance of allowing students free time to explore the city on their own, while also providing cultural activities and excusions to introduce students to different parts of the city. I feel that the price of the study abroad program matched the amount of cultural immersion we received.
Barcelona is extremely safe. One thing to watch out for: pick-pocketers. Clutch your belongings at all times (especially in public places like cafes and public transportation). If you are smart and on your guard, you should not have any problems with thefts. Staying out after dark was pretty safe as well. Try to use the buddy system, because theives and the like are very good at spotting foreigners.
My homestay hostess provided most of the food I needed to get throrugh the day, and it was nice because I was eating authentic Spanish food. Markets were relatively cheaper than in the U.S.A. in Barcelona. Going out with friends to a cafe or restaurant will not drain your wallet so long as you do not go to a tourist trap. My friends and I asked the locals where to find good eats on the cheap.
Bars, clubs, and the like abound in Barcelona. Also, the beaches and mountains provide a wonderful blending of natural beauty to explore. Again, asking the locals where to go was the best bet to avoid being in a club with only Americans.
I did not need to receive any health services, thankfully, but among the people I know who did, they were satisfied with the treatment they received. CIS Abroad covers small health fees.
Other Reviews on CISabroad - Summer at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
CISabroad - Summer at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona Experience
Reviewed by Taylor Rutter on .
Overall, my experience while studying abroad was excellent. There were a few hiccups with the program, but the experience with the language and culture within Barcelona certainly made up for it.
CISabroad - Summer at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona Great Program!!
Reviewed by Emily Hokanson on .
Had a fantastic time with CISabroad! The staff were incredible, always there when you needed them, very clear, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure you had all your questions answered. Housing was very clean and nice and near to several metro stops and my roommates were great! Classes were nearby and very much how I thought they would be, challenging, but not impossible!
CISabroad - Summer at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona A super quick look into something I wish I could have stayed longer with.
Reviewed by Nick Ford on .
CIS and the UAB program were really something that I wasn't expecting. It was not good or bad, but pleasantly different. Taking classes and living on your own in a huge city abroad is not something for the uncertain and unwilling. Attending classes while keeping up with everything going on around you is tough, but it is so worth the experience. For those who want to get a taste of the Spanish lifestyle and workings, you will find what you need and much more in Barcelona and with this program.
Also keep in mind that 88% of the population in Barcelona and Catalunya speak Catalán, along with Spanish, which makes for an even better time.