University: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Field of study: economics
Study type: semester abroad
Barcelona, a city that could hardly be more versatile. In my opinion, sun, beach, culture and fiesta combined with a semester abroad make Barcelona a great choice. Check liuxers.com to see RSU study abroad opportunities.
Since it is mandatory in my International Business degree to complete a semester abroad, the first thing I thought about was whether I wanted to stay in Europe or not. Since many foreign programs overseas are relatively expensive and I already knew the city a little from weekend trips to Barcelona, the decision for me was made fairly quickly. Of course, the learning aspect shouldn’t be lost abroad either, but in my opinion it’s mainly about enjoying the time and having fun.
After I was able to get some information about Barcelona through my home university, I had to get in touch with MicroEdu. MicroEdu forwarded my application documents to Barcelona completely free of charge, knew an answer to every question and was a great help in this process. At this point, many thanks again!
Once you have collected all the application documents and forwarded them to MicroEdu, you will receive a pre-acceptance letter from the University of Barcelona relatively quickly. This requires a deposit of the tuition fees of 500 €
The next decisions to be made were choosing a course and looking for a place to live. Regarding the courses, the UAB has a very good overview on their homepage. Personally, I didn’t have much leeway when choosing a course, as I was quite tied to my learning agreement between my home university and the UAB. In the end I had 5 courses, International Finance, International Marketing (both with Myriam Hikimura, highly recommended ), International Economics (with Paola Rocchi, very economic -heavy and rather one of the more difficult courses), Cross-Cultural Management (with Jean- Charles Philippe, to be recommended) and a Spanish language course.Overall, I would recommend all courses, but definitely consider whether the Spanish course is worth around €1000. Of course, this is supported by the fact that all other courses are in English and you can improve your Spanish skills, but of course there is also the possibility if you live in a Spanish flat share, for example.
Compared to Germany, it’s a good deal easier and you get better grades with less effort. Nevertheless, there are many presentations in all subjects, which is why one is more or less forced to prepare regularly for the courses. The courses consist of about 25 to 30 students, who are about 35% from Germany, 30% from the USA, 15% from Belgium and 20% (Brazil, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Holland, Sweden, Egypt etc.) came. In presentations with fellow students, you can brush up on your intercultural skills and come into contact with a learning culture, especially with the Americans, that is a bit different compared to the German one.
The university is located in the Eixample district, it takes about 5 minutes to walk to the Paseig de Gracia, one of the largest streets in Barcelona with numerous restaurants and shopping opportunities. In about 7 minutes you are at Plaza Catalunya, the central square in Barcelona. The university building is rather nondescript and far away from the main campus in Bellaterra. Only international students are in this building (about 150 in total). The equipment is a good deal below the German average, unfortunately there was only one working printer for the entire university and the tables in the course room are not even big enough for an unfolded college block. Since the tuition fees are not necessarily low, I would have expected a little more, for example an introductory week.
I found my apartment through Resa Housing, and I can also highly recommend Sh Barcelona. In terms of location, Eixample Izquierda and Eixample Derecha are particularly well located. I lived there and had to walk 2 minutes to the university. Compared to Germany, apartments are a bit more expensive and you can’t expect German standards in terms of cleanliness. It was important to me to know where I was going to live while I was in Germany, which is why I didn’t first go to a hostel like many others and look for an apartment there.
In my opinion, Barcelona is perfect for a semester abroad. Since the timetable is not that full, you can easily go to the beach, go shopping or just have a drink in one of the countless cafes after university. If you don’t live in Barceloneta, the easiest way to get to the beach is usually by metro. In general, the metro system is very good and super easy to understand. (10 trips cost €10.30 and a 3-month ticket around €105) There were many bars on the beach that turned into a club in the evening, but more on that later. The water is fairly clean for a city beach and there are numerous volleyball courts, making it easy to mingle with the locals.
Barcelona also has a lot to offer culturally. There are many interesting things to see thanks to the architect Antoní Gaudí, who was responsible for the construction of the Sagrada Familia, one of the symbols of Barcelona, but also built many other buildings.
Here is a brief overview of the must-sees in Barcelona:
- Sagrada Família
- La Pedrera/ Casa Milà
- Casa Batlo
- Park Guell
- Las Ramblas
- La Boqueria
- Port Vell
- Camp Nou
- Passeig de Gracia
- Via Laietana
Day / weekend trip
- San Sebastian
- Rosa Negra
- Ovella Negra
- Sor Rita
- Carpe Diem
- City Hall
- La Fira
Overall, I can 100% recommend Barcelona as a city for a semester abroad. A beautiful city with great flair, a good university, where you have a lot of free time and get to know people from all over the world, make this time unforgettable and, in my opinion, are the best experience you can have during your studies!!!