What’s it like to study abroad? After my semester studying at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, here are four things I learned. Hopefully, they can help you too.
Studying at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona:
1. Lighter Workload
First things first. It is definitely different than your typical “semester” at a university in the U.S. For example, my classes had a lot less homework, and they’re more centered around tests and projects. I mean – don’t get me wrong – you do get homework. But, I’ve found the amount of homework I’ve been assigned abroad is limited and manageable. In comparison, at my college in the U.S. I normally do four to five hours of homework every day.
2. More Challenging Spanish Classes
Secondly, Spanish classes are a bit different here. Personally, I think the Spanish classes here are a bit harder than the Spanish classes in America. There’s slightly different vocabulary than what is taught in U.S. classes. Additionally, my classes haven’t been very structured. For example, we haven’t spent much time learning a particular chapter. Instead, we’ll learn vocabulary as we go and jump around to different verb tenses throughout activities.
3. Great Business Classes
I love my business classes here. I am taking international business, cross-cultural management, and doing business in emerging markets. These classes are interesting because every day I learn so many new things about different countries all over the world. It has caused me to realize how business affects the world on a global scale. In addition, it is extremely eye-opening because it allows you to think and see other perspectives. Every country is so vastly different than the other and with that comes the uniqueness of individuals, culture, and land.
4. More Time for Cultural Immersion
Since the homework is manageable, it allows you time to really experience the culture and explore wherever you may be staying. My advice is to get out as much as you can while you study abroad. It is truly an experience you will never have again. It is such an amazing opportunity and it is important to make the most of it. So get out there and learn from the locals! Go out and talk with some of the locals, eat typical Spanish food, and learn about Spanish customs, traditions, and values. You will remember and cherish these memories from learning them interactively.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from my time abroad.
My best advice:
Engage as much as you can in your classes and don’t miss them! Do your homework and try your best to really understand the material. But most importantly balance your time. Go into each day with a clear mind, get your work done for classes, and EXPLORE and experience the city you are living in. These experiences will last a lifetime.
Want to know if studying at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is for you? Read more about the program here.