University: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Field of study: business administration
Study type: semester abroad
Barcelona is a fantastic city! – Yes, I can only confirm that. I had a great time there and do not regret for a second that I decided to study abroad at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Before the semester at the UAB, I had lived there for a long time, which is why I really wanted to go there again. In addition to the beach and shopping, the city has a lot more to offer…
However, before I could start my journey, I had to take care of a few things. First of all, it was important to me to live centrally(!). Above all, I also made sure that my accommodation has good public transport connections to the buildings where my lectures are held. The courses of the Study Abroad Program take place either on Campus Sant Pau (a bit outside) or on Campus Eixample (in the center; about 10 minutes walk from Plaça de Catalunya). My accommodation was connected to the yellow metro line (L4), which fortunately had direct connections to both buildings. That means I didn’t have to change trains and was able to save a lot of time. Stations like Passeig de Gracia should be avoided, especially during rush hour! So I really recommend checking out the TMB metro map (http: //www.metrobarcelona.es/mapas.html) beforehand and planning your accommodation accordingly. In addition to the metro, there are of course other public transport options such as buses and trams, which I haven’t really used though. There is a 3-month ticket (ticket trimester) for around €105, which can be used for all public transport. You can get these cards at all Metro(!) stations. You should be careful, because from Plaça de Catalunya there are also a few lines that do not belong to the metro but to the Ferrocarril. Ferrocarril lines do not run through at night on weekends and, as mentioned, you could not buy 3-month tickets there. Another way to get around the city quickly is by bike or scooter. Barcelona has several bike stations (https: //www.bicing.cat/es) located at pretty much every major square or attraction. You can get a pass there for a flat rate X and use the bikes at any station. Check jibin123.com to see Semester Abroad In University of California Los Angeles.
The “programa preestablecido” of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona works as follows. On the homepage of the UAB under “programa preestablecido” you can find all the subjects that the university offers for the respective semester. When making my selection, I had to indicate my preferred subjects and alternatives. Here I recommend specifying alternative subjects directly when creating the Learning Agreement and then discussing them with the respective course director. Before the semester starts, you will receive confirmation of the respective subjects by email. Courses are held in either English or Spanish. However, if there are too few who want to take a course, the course will not take place. As far as the equipment of the university buildings is concerned, there are computer rooms and/or libraries in both buildings in the city (Eixample and Sant Pau). They are free to study and work. You can also print it out there for free. However, these rooms are very small and during the examination phase they are also very crowded, noisy and it is very difficult to get a seat. Books are recommended for some courses. A book was recommended to us for my International Finance course. Unfortunately, the library in Sant Pau only has a limited selection of books and that’s exactly what they didn’t have, for example. I then had to go to another Unibib to borrow the book. It wasn’t that easy though, as the student card we get isn’t designed to use other libraries, and just create a new one, didn’t exist! I was then able to borrow the book at a foreign university using a friend’s student ID.
My course choice
1. International Business SA2007E
This course always took place for me in the evenings at 5.45 p.m. Despite the time, the professor was always very motivated and brought a lot of humor to the lesson. I really liked that. In the first half of the course (i.e. until the midterm exam) we worked with his PowerPoint, which he also made available to us to study for the exams. Towards the end we calculated a lot more and mainly dealt with import and export issues. In general, the professor progressed very quickly with the topics. The final grade of this course consists of 1. Midterm, final exam, project work with presentation and participation. The midterm and final exam each had a written part that took place on the day of the exam. The other part of the exam grades was a kind of report that you had to write and hand in on the day of the exam. The project work was a group work with around 3-4 group members from the course, which had to get together independently. Roughly speaking, each group had to present a company that was successful in an international environment. For this we had to write a paper with at least 3000 words and present our results in one day in the course. In total we had 2 months for the group work and I really recommend using it from the start! The participation grade consisted of attendance and participation. In other words, you couldn’t achieve top marks if you were absent too often. use them right from the start! The participation grade consisted of attendance and participation. In other words, you couldn’t achieve top marks if you were absent too often. use them right from the start! The participation grade consisted of attendance and participation. In other words, you couldn’t achieve top marks if you were absent too often.
2. Human Resource Management SA2044E
In Human Resources Management we were mainly concerned with working through the items on the Marketing Plan Scheme. At the end of the lecture, almost everyone had to present their results in a presentation. There were also grades for a personal blog, which requires a blog entry every hour, and for the participation, for which it was also important to be present regularly. The course was very active, which means that during the lectures we mostly had to do tasks ourselves and work on something in groups. What I also really liked was that our professor organized guest speakers for us.They were really very interesting lectures and the guest speakers took a lot of time to answer all sorts of questions. I was particularly touched by a lecture by a man who had worked very successfully in Portugal and whose life had changed overnight due to a car accident! The professor was also really nice and was always very open to questions of any kind. You could really tell that the well-being of her students is very important to her.
3. Strategic Management of the Firm SA2010E
Strategic Management of the Firm was a really very interesting subject. The professor is Mexican and was therefore probably always very funny;-). I really have to say that I gained a lot of insight into very interesting topics, especially in this subject about strategy, which I would probably never have gotten at home at university. Grades consist of the 1st midterm and 2nd final exam, midterm presentation and final presentation and participation. The midterm exam was a pure multiple-choice exam, which was graded very hard and was really very difficult! The final exam consisted of multiple choice and questions about a third-party case study. In the midterm and final presentation, we had to examine a company in groups and develop strategies. For each of the two presentations we had a document which precisely prescribed the content of the presentations. We were also able to download all the documents for this course via a platform.
4. International Finance SA2008E
International Finance was the course that I felt was the best structured and where I learned the most. There were 3 exams, socrative tests, assignments and a grade for participation. Some of the exams consisted of multiple choice and calculations or explanations. The Socrative Tests were questions after each chapter and were answered with either the cell phone or the laptop. I think it was around 10 chapters in total. In principle, assignments were arithmetic tasks and case studies, which were done either at home or in class and then had to be handed in. In short, every lesson was somehow important because you always felt like you got a grade. But it was very interesting and because you always had to stay on the ball, it wasn’t that difficult to study for the exams.
All in all, I was very satisfied with my choice of subjects! I have the feeling that I took more with me this semester than in my previous three semesters at the university in Germany. Because the lecture was in a different language, I was more attentive and was able to figure out a lot for myself. All in all, the semester abroad is very complex throughout, but fair as far as the final grade is concerned. The Spanish grading system goes from 1-10, with 10 being the highest score and 1 being the worst. With 5 you passed.
My personal tips for future UAB-goers
- As already mentioned, I would pay attention to WHERE I look for my accommodation. It should be as close as possible to a “good” metro line.
- Start the semester abroad with knowledge of Spanish! Many locals really appreciate that!
- Enjoy the view from Tibidabo
- Book city trips early (great organized trips: Facebook group “Barcelona Trips”)
- Avoid restaurants on the Ramblas!
- Shop in the respective summer/winter sale
- Go to Montserrat for a day
- Look for language exchange groups on Facebook to meet locals
- Doing group work with people that isn’t just about passing (many Americans who take this program just need to pass the course, so they may not try quite as hard)
- Visit Campus Bellaterre
- Participate in UAB events (Campus Bellaterre)
- Always keep your cell phone and valuables well hidden with you. Always close bags if possible!
- In good weather and preferably during the week, plan a trip to PortAventura
- Book tickets for Sagrada Familia online! A tour with a guide and a visit to the towers is worth it;-)
- Eat at Lizarran
- Go to 100 montaditos on Sundays or Wednesdays
- Try orxata!!
- Go to the Camp Nou for a FC Barcelona game if possible
- Take a Spanish/Catalan course
- Find homes and other items on wallapop.com
- Participate in free Salsa/Bachata dance lessons
- Try coffee shops and avoid Starbucks as much as possible
- take a calculator with you
- At Sant Jordi visit “Passeig de Gracia” and admire Casa Batlló
- Do research on the Internet for free entry to clubs and get yourself written on guest lists