University: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Study type: semester abroad
Barcelona – a beautiful city that can offer something new every day. My decision to go to Barcelona to do my semester abroad was made quickly. I’ve always been excited. However, I had previously completed a 4-week language course in Alicante. However, this would not have been absolutely necessary, because Barcelona is such an international city that you can survive well with English. Nevertheless, I was happy to be able to show a bit of Spanish so that I could really get in touch with the locals. The application went smoothly and I felt well advised and in good hands with MicroEdu. The website also offers good information and if you had any further questions, you received a quick answer. I put together my learning agreement with my international advisor at my university and it was no problem to have it approved, so that almost all ECTS points of my semester abroad are credited to me. The university’s commitment to the pre-established program came fairly quickly. Check liuxers.com to see FDU study abroad opportunities.
I first looked for a nice apartment on the internet. 12sqm, shared flat for 3 people, pretty new, in Gracia (my favorite neighborhood) for 350 euros warm per month plus 500 euros deposit. It could have been so quick and beautiful. You have to be really careful what you get and accept on the internet. I transferred the first rent and the deposit in advance and had good contact with the landlord via email and Whatsapp. However, I was quite disappointed when I got there 1 week before the semester started. He was nice, explained everything to me and then he showed me to my room. 5sqm, no window and a mattress on the floor. Luckily I found something new pretty quickly, but for 100 euros more than planned and I never got my deposit back.
It is therefore recommended for the braver ones among you that you first book yourself into a hostel for a few days and go looking for an apartment on site. You can see exactly what you get for your money and get to know the people.
After that I was very happy in the new 4-person shared flat in Eixample.
Since I enrolled in the Pre-Established Program, the classes were not held on the main campus but in two different buildings in Barcelona. All my courses were in Eixample in a somewhat small building. However, it was modern equipped. On the first day there was an introduction where you learned everything you need to know, such as how grades are calculated, rules of conduct and some information about Barcelona. The lectures take place in small groups of up to 25 people and are more reminiscent of the good old school than lectures as we know them in Germany.
The calculation of grades is also a little different. The grade results from attendance, participation, mid-term exam, homework and presentations and the final exam. Friendships are made very quickly, also because of the many group projects and homework groups. Personally, I found it a bit of a shame that you mainly have to deal with your compatriots, as this makes group work much easier, because you can speak German and that you have no contact at all with locals or Spanish students. It was highly recommended to start an exchange, which I didn’t do because I attended a big Spanish course and my roommate spoke Spanish.
All the basics of marketing are explained and illustrated with business cases that each group has to present. A lot of participation is expected and a mid term as well as a final presentation. But Myriam is a good teacher and it’s fun.
Cross Cultural Management
My absolute favorite subject. Charles goes into many countries and factors and clarifies the differences between cultures and things worth knowing about doing business in different cultures. Very active and well explained. However, the final exam is tough, as a lot of material is worked on and you have to work a lot. But if you listen actively, then it’s not all that bad.
I can’t recommend this subject at all as long as it’s with Pilar Pluig, because there were a lot of differences of opinion in my course, since there were a lot of Americans in my course and the teacher very often simply didn’t have the right English terms, and that’s how it always is came to a standstill again and it was very difficult to follow. The final exam was also very unfair, as there were a lot of questions about topics that we had never worked on due to the disruptions.
Spanish Language A2 and B1.1
I was a bit disappointed with the Spanish course at the university. I had this Tuesday and Thursday from 9.00 – 12.30 and we really didn’t get much done. Spanish is divided into different levels, but the previous knowledge is still very far apart and a group is only as strong as the weakest member of the group and so it was sometimes very boring for us German students, since the Americans are not very fast catch up, because I think the levels are distributed a bit differently in the US. Still, I’ve learned a lot. You regularly get homework or have to prepare presentations. There is a mid-term exam to assess how far along you are and what you urgently need to repeat, and you have a final exam, which accounts for half of the grade in addition to participation and attendance.
Life in Barcelona
In Barcelona you just have to do something every day. You are woken up in the morning with the rays of the sun and the long beach, the many beautiful squares and small bars,…
It is advisable to buy a monthly ticket for the metro or the 3 monthly ticket for young people (this costs about 105€ for three months without travel restrictions).
There are many shopping centers and shopping streets throughout Barcelona. But it’s also worth taking a look into the small streets, as there are many small boutiques where you can grab a bargain or two.
There is also McFit in Barcelona. Since I am a member in Germany, I was able to use the gym there without any problems and I could use my metro card almost to the door. The public transport network is really excellent and even if you don’t feel like taking the bus or the metro, even the taxi is not too expensive.
Just go out and discover the city. Have fun in Barcelona.