Lisa Langwallner is studying Business Administration Online at MCI and spent her 5th semester at IQS in Barcelona. To give future and active students an insight into her semester abroad, we asked her to answer a few questions.
How was your semester abroad? What was your overall impression?
Spending a semester abroad in Barcelona/ Spain turned out to be the best decision of my life! Beginning my studies just before the pandemic hit the world, I hardly spent time on-campus. During my time in Spain, however, I enjoyed being at the university every day and exchange with locals and other international students.
Barcelona is a vibrant city and a beyond amazing place to live, study and work. Here you can find everything: from beaches to mountains, excellent restaurants and cute cafés, millions of bars, and clubs, lots of architecture, culture, and museums. I met wonderful people from all over the world, learned about different traditions and really improved my Spanish language skills.
I even joined an entrepreneurial club where I found a second home and went to Madrid and Lisbon for a weekend trip. To sum it up into a few words: I will come back!
What did you like most about your exchange semester? Did it pay off to go on an academic exchange semester?
My favorite part was experiencing the city like a resident and immersing myself in local life. I joined a club for entrepreneurs, innovators, and the culturally curious, and it paid off. I grew a lot personally during those months.
Did you encounter any problems? What did not work out as planned?
The semester at the university was shorter than communicated first. So, I paid for my apartment longer than necessary.
Did you experience any language problems?
No, I didn't. All subjects (except the Spanish course) were taught in English. Besides that, my Spanish level is quite okay so I could also communicate with locals without having major problems. The city is very international, however, without knowing any Spanish words it can be hard sometimes.
Housing: Cost, Equipment, Lodging Agencies. Do you have any tips for future exchange students?
I was living in a furnished, rental apartment in "Ciutat Vella", a very central neighborhood in Barcelona. I really enjoyed it, but the apartments of rental agencies are quite overpriced. Be aware of the fact, that many building are really old and thus energy efficiency is very low. Not all apartments have AC or heating.
What kind of tips, suggestions would you give future exchange students?
Just do it, because this experience was unforgettable and you will grow and learn a lot by living in another country.
Lisa Langwallner spent the 5th semester of her Bachelor's degree in Barcelona. ©Lisa Langwallner