Preparations before starting your stay abroad
My preparations for the semester abroad in Barcelona began with the application process and the compilation of the required documents. My home university was at my side to help. The DHBW informed us foreign students in detail about all the steps. They also got in touch with MicroEDU. The agency was there to help me with the rest of my application . MicroEDU provided me with full details of all the documents I needed. In addition, MicroEDU reviewed my application documents in advance and ultimately forwarded them to my university abroad. When my documents were successfully sent, the waiting time for the final confirmation from the university abroad began.
When it was certain that I had been accepted at the University of Barcelona (UAB), my private preparations began. Since a fellow student was also accepted at the UAB, we decided to rent an apartment together. We therefore searched the Internet for suitable apartments in advance. I booked my flight in July and then in mid-August I started packing my personal belongings and planning what I would take with me. The course itself began in early September. According to AbbreviationFinder, UAB is the abbreviation of Universitat Autònoma De Barcelona.
Study in the host country
The course was already chosen in Germany. The UAB provided all foreign students with a list of courses that had to be submitted when registering at the UAB. However, if you were not satisfied with your choice of course, the courses could still be changed in the first week at the UAB. I took a total of three courses: International Finance, International Business and International Economics. Overall, I was less satisfied with my choice of course. International finance was the best subject. We had a really lovely lecturer here. She was very good at explaining and really tried to be helpful to all students.
International business, on the other hand, was a very complex subject. We had homework or assignments almost every hour. International Economics was generally interesting and our lecturer was also eager and committed. However, here too you had to do a lot to get a good grade. The final grade always consisted of group work, homework, several questions, participation, attendance, mid-term exam and final exam. So you were forced to stay on the ball.
In general, studying in Barcelona is more reminiscent of school days and is less comparable to traditional studies in Germany. For example, we were housed in small classrooms with around 20-30 students.
Stay in the host country
Since we had already booked an apartment in advance through the agency SH Barcelona, the first days in Barcelona were relaxed. We arrived in Barcelona on September 3rd and were greeted directly by an agent of the agency in our apartment. He was very friendly and in the end we were super satisfied with our small apartment and the agency’s service. I can therefore only recommend everyone to book an apartment in advance through an agency, because this saves you a lot of stress in the first few days abroad and you can arrive comfortably.
Barcelona itself really impressed me! It’s a super nice city, with lots of little cafes, restaurants and bars. In addition, there are many shopping opportunities that differ significantly from conventional shops, because they are all individuallyfurnished with a lot of charm. In September the weather in Barcelona was also excellent and we were able to enjoy an extended summer. We were at the beach almost every day in September and were even able to study there for our exams and do our homework.
Basically, Barcelona offers a perfect student life. There are lots of small bars, but also some really cool clubs. In addition, there are really many sights and parks that are particularly recommended in summer.
Practical tips for subsequent scholarship holders
In general, Barcelona has a lot to offer. In general, it is advisable to buy a ticket with a longer validity at a metro station in the first few days. I bought the T-jove ticket, it is valid for 90 days and is extra for people under 25 years of age. There is also the “TMBapp” app for public transport in Barcelona. This is really highly recommended, as it saves you a lot of time looking for the right metro line or the right bus, especially at the beginning. I used this app the entire time.
The Montjuic is a great attraction for the first few days. This mountain is on the outskirts of Barcelona, on which a castle was built. From there you have a great view over Barcelona, the sea and the port. You can first get a rough overview.
In my opinion, Parc Güell is the most beautiful park and should definitely be visited. There is a free area and an area that requires entry. But it’s definitely worth spending a bit of money here and checking out the paid area. Furthermore, the Parc de Labyrinth should definitely be visited. It contains a real labyrinth and several waterfalls that are very nice to look at.
My favorite neighborhood in Barcelona was El Born. The “Barri Gotic” district is also very beautiful. Both parts of the city are wonderful for strolling and there are many bars and restaurants.
What you should definitely see is the famous shopping street “La Rambla”. However, it is particularly important to warn against pickpockets here. In addition, it is better to avoid the restaurants there. These are mostly typical tourist traps with food that is way too overpriced.
All in all, I am happy to have done a semester abroad in Barcelona. The city convinced and impressed me in all its different facets. Even if I didn’t like the UAB and its lectures 100%, I still recommend a semester abroad in Barcelona. I’ve had a lot of new experiences, seen a lot and got to know a lot of great people.