Right from the start of my studies, it was clear to me that I definitely wanted to go abroad for a semester. You always hear these great stories from people who have already dared. And finally at the end of August the time had come for me too! Barcelona, I’m coming!
Since we unfortunately couldn’t get a place through Erasmus in our preferred cities, we decided to organize our stay ourselves. This organization is free and was at our side with help and advice. The whole enrollment process was really straightforward. When looking for an apartment, we benefited from a fellow student who was in Barcelona 2 years before us. A call to his old landlady was enough and the apartment was safe for us. As far as I know, many of my fellow students looked for their apartments on the Internet and were, by and large, all very satisfied. We paid € 300 warm per month, plus € 10 internet costs. The food costs were also kept within limits, vegetables and fruit are much cheaper than Germany, the rest such as pasta, milk, etc. is comparable to Germany. What is more expensive are cosmetics, especially for all female students it is recommended to take many products from Germany with you. However, it must be noted that you will always need more money than at home, as the lifestyle will definitely differ. We also recommend a 3-month zone 1 metro card (€ 118), which covers a very large network and all buses.
The course of a study semester in Barcelona is a little different than in Germany. On the one hand, attendance is compulsory in all courses and, on the other hand, great importance is attached to participation. The many essays and presentations were also somewhat unusual. But in retrospect it was only positive for personal development. My insecurity and nervousness about speaking in front of other people has almost completely disappeared. Since the program is especially for foreigners, all courses were in English so I was able to brush up my English skills again. We had university from Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but this depends on the number of courses. I took 4 courses plus 8 hours / week of Spanish classes. It is highly recommended to take care of the crediting before going abroad. The grading consists of a mid-term exam + final exam + attendance + essays. Everything can be done with a little commitment and learning.
Generally speaking, Barcelona is safe. Of course, some areas should be avoided at certain times of the day, but that is the case in every major city. However, you should always keep an eye on your valuables / bag. It is best to only take the bare essentials out of the house. It is also better to use pockets with zippers and to hang around your neck. Most of the trick that is used is to stop the escalator, thereby confusing people, and then access! I don’t want to scare you, just point out that you should really be vigilant.
… a super beautiful, exciting city! As a small tip in advance, try to visit as much as possible at the beginning, especially from a cultural point of view. You think to yourself, “Oh, I still have time”, but in the end you usually want to spend the days with your new friends rather than looking at a museum. I followed this advice and tried to explore as much as possible on foot for the first few days. The public transport offer is very good, but you can easily see more on foot, including things that are not mentioned in a travel guide. The city’s cultural possibilities are immense. The first destination we recommend is the Tibidabo, the highest mountain in Barcelona. From there you have a fantastic view of the city.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, the nightlife should of course not be forgotten either. You can do something different every day / night. The number of good bars and clubs is unimaginable. The motto here is: celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!
It sounds a bit trite, but my semester abroad was a great experience and I can only advise every student to do one. The experiences, whether positive or negative, are priceless and very important for personal development. If you were to ask me what I thought was the best in the 4 months, it would be the people / friends you get to know / find!