Since I did not get an ERASMUS place for Madrid or other Spanish cities at the University of Cologne, friends gave me the tip to go to a foreign university as a “free mover”. After a short phone call with your website, I was able to find everything on the homepage to find out more and to choose a suitable university for me. I chose the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in the hope of improving my Spanish as well as my English. After trying to find my way around the UAB homepage to choose suitable courses, I preferred the “Pre-established Program”. With the premise of making progress in my studies and getting credit for the courses at my university, I was looking for the right courses here. There is a small selection of business administration courses and an economics course in the narrower sense. The rest is more useful for politics students, free profile groups or study integral courses. I would like to emphasize at this point that the courses are tailored to US Americans.
After a few bureaucratic hurdles, registration was completed within a few weeks. It is only important to transfer the money early.
Fortunately, I was able to rent a room in a shared apartment from Germany through Freundes-Freunde. However, during my stay it became clear to me that every storage room is rented out without a window – and at high prices. My Spanish roommate, who was the main tenant, made me and my other roommate pay the entire rent. Many American students also lived in huge apartments with several fellow students, which their Study Abroad Program had rented for them. I can take a long time to search on site and I have many disappointments in store. However, I would like to recommend living in the center of the city (Eixample, Gracia), as this is where the student’s center of life (university, party, fellow students) was.
My biggest problem was the food. Since I am used to going to the cafeteria regularly and have many student offers in the city, I was surprised by the high price level. The campus of the Abroad students is located in the middle of the city and therefore far away from the main campus, where the cafeteria is also located. In the vicinity of this campus there are only small restaurants where you can eat the Menu del Dia for ~ 10 €, or well-known fast food chains.
Since classes are only from Monday to Thursday, the weekend always started early. A normal weekday also usually ends in a bar or club. No “lecture” starts before nine o’clock. The presence and commitment in class is valued differently by each professor. Overall, I was satisfied with the choice of my courses and the content of these. I would like to mention a few points, however, because they were new to me and sometimes also incomprehensible: Most “professors” are not professors as we know them from Germany. Some are still working on their Ph.D., others work at institutes in the city and teach in the Study Abroad Program on the side. I haven’t met a “real” professor at UAB. The level of the courses was only given the fact that it was a semester abroad acceptable, but otherwise very low. However, some courses required a lot of work (~ 20 pages essay + exam). All courses were tailored for students from American universities. This means that Europe was first divided into individual countries in introductory events and East Coast football teams were discussed in the Spanish courses. A big point of criticism on my part is the building on the Eixample campus, which in my opinion is completely undersized. There are two toilets each for men and women who want to use around 150 students during breaks. Check hetongdiy to see more reviews from current students.
Life in Barcelona has its own charm – there is no better way to express it. It’s wild and chaotic on the streets, red lights are ignored. The opening times of shops and supermarkets are more based on your mood than on notices. Since I previously thought the talk about the southern mentality was exaggerated, I was a bit surprised. The nightlife starts at 9 p.m. in the restaurant, then drinks in a bar until around 2 a.m. and then partying in a club from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. All in all, I had a good time there and had a lot of valuable experiences. The Study Abroad Program is, however, a program designed purely for international students and therefore has no connection to the regular university. This means that it is hardly possible to come into contact with Spanish or Catalan students through the university. If you are aware of this, you can have a great time there.