Application to the host university
I applied for the Pre-established Program at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) through MicroEDU. It was a very good decision. The MicroEDU staff are very helpful and will help you with questions or double-check that your application documents are complete. A short time later I received the acceptance. In addition, shortly before your stay abroad, MicroEDU will send you a mailing list in which all other students who have applied to UAB through them are listed. This means that you can get in touch with the other students beforehand. According to Abbreviationfinder, UAB is the abbreviation of niversitat Autónoma de Barcelona.
Since many different airlines fly to Barcelona from Germany, and the flight time is usually only between two and two and a half hours, the journey to Barcelona was very easy and inexpensive. However, you should book the flight early enough, because the flights are usually a bit more expensive at short notice.
Most of my fellow students traveled to Barcelona a little earlier to look for a room in a shared apartment, which worked well for everyone I got to know. My impression was that this is the usual way. For me, however, it was important to find a room in a shared apartment while in Germany. You just have to be careful, as there are many dubious sites! I first tried to look for rooms in shared flats via the Facebook groups, but I got the impression that there were also a lot of dubious people around there. So I decided to book my room in a shared apartment via the “Spotahome” or “Uniplaces” websites. I finally found a room through “Uniplaces”, which I was more than happy with. You pay a one-time booking fee to this company, but you have the guarantee that the room looks like the pictures. Most of the accommodations even have videos of the apartments and you can set various filters. I was very satisfied with the room I booked. Everything worked flawlessly for me via Uniplaces.
My accommodation was in Grácia, a really nice neighborhood where a lot of locals and students live. Here you can walk through the streets away from tourism, which was really very important to me personally.
The UAB has a total of three locations. The Bellaterra campus is located 30 minutes outside of Barcelona, this is the Erasmus campus. The courses of the program in which I studied are located in Eixample or in Sant Pau. As part of the Pre-Established Study Abroad Program, you do not study with local students, but in a purely international group. The majority of the students came from Germany or the United States. But there were also students from other countries like Sweden, Egypt, Belgium, and so on.
The Eixample Campus
You can’t really call the building in Eixample a campus. It’s really just a three-story building, with only one toilet on two floors. However, the building is very nice and there are plenty of cheap cafes in this area. The center is only a 15-minute walk away.
The Sant Pau Campus
This campus is really very nice, the way you imagine an older university. However, I only had one course here, but I changed it during the add / drop period.
Since I applied for my BAföG for abroad before I left, a question arose from time to time or, for example, I needed the certificate of study from the UAB. I was really surprised at how reliable and quick the secretariat staff were. Sometimes they even sent me the documents on the same day. In that respect I have had really positive experiences throughout!
I more than enjoyed studying at UAB and it’s definitely worth an experience.
My choice of course
In general, the lectures at the UAB are very practice-oriented and interactive. I chose a total of three courses that formed my focus in International Management :
1. HRM: Human Resources Management; Finding your place in an organization
This lecture was not about classic HR, it was more of a career coaching. Over the course of the entire semester, you worked out a marketing plan for yourself, with which the lecturer Maydo helped you at all times. Since I wanted to start my internship after my semester abroad anyway, it was a good option. There were always various exercises for the marketing plan, such as creating a body map about yourself. So you could let your creativity run free. In addition, everyone should create their own website with a blog in which you should post an entry after each lesson about what you have learned in that lesson. The final presentation took place alone in front of the lecturer, as the marketing plan included very private content.
Work in class 20%
Blog (learning journey) 20%
Final presentation 60%
2. Managerial Skills for International Business
This course was about which skills a manager who works in an international context should have. Various role-plays and team activities were often carried out in the park near the university. This lecture covers topics such as conflict management, leadership, and much more.
You have two tests, each containing 20 questions where you had to tick right or wrong. These were easy and you could get a good grade without much learning. Despite the fact that the tests were so easy, I got a lot out of this course!
Work in class 40%
3. E-Commerce & Online Business
On an academic level , this course impressed me the most. Current content from the e-commerce sector is discussed very intensively here. Topics are covered such as user experience design, user personas, artificial intelligence, and so on. This course is designed to look at e-commerce from a business perspective, so everything is explained very clearly. In the “News Presentation” every student should work up and present a short presentation on a current e-commerce topic that interests him or her.
The “Case Studies” were homework that was assessed and the “Web Presence Project & Presentation” was the practical project that was developed in groups of three over the entire semester. In the practical project, each group should create the entire e-commerce presence for its own product, that is, the website, the analysis of the competitors, etc. This project was really very interesting and really brought you forward, as you can get the Process goes through. The content of this course really appealed to me and the lecturer was also very helpful and passionate about the topic. Your rating was very fair.
News presentation 10%
Case Studies 20%
Web presence project & presentation 40%
I can only recommend to everyone: apply for BAföG abroad! Personally, I don’t get BAföG in Germany and have received a sum abroad. You should also inquire about scholarships for a semester abroad, as there are various options.
The rent in Barcelona is really very high. I didn’t meet anyone at the university in Barcelona who paid less than € 500 a month for a room in a shared apartment. However, groceries and restaurants are cheap and comparable to the prices in Germany. In contrast, drugstore products were slightly more expensive than in Germany.
In general, there are numerous ways to spend your free time. If you like to do sports, there is an outdoor gym right on the beach, which is free. Otherwise you can go to the sea in the summer months.
Gracia Placa del Sol
In general, the Gracia district is the bohemian district of Barcelona. There are many small cafes, bars and boutiques with fair fashion products. But especially at Placa del Sol there is a lot going on in the evening. Here students get something to drink from the nearest kiosk and just sit down on the square. The atmosphere is really great. My favorite tapas bar is also on Placa del Sol: “Sol Soler”. You should definitely try it out.
Bunkers del Carmen
From the bunkers in el Carmen you have a great view over the whole of Barcelona. A few years ago this was still an insider tip. Meanwhile, it can get really crowded on the weekends. But it’s worth watching the sunset!
Day trip to Montserrat
The Montserrat Mountains include many different hiking trails and a monastery. It’s located an hour by train from Barcelona and is well worth a visit!
Day trip to Sitges
Sitges is south of Barcelona and about an hour away by train. It is definitely worth going there and taking a look at the city. In any case, it feels good to escape from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. It’s nice and quiet in Sitges.
Weekend trip to Palafrugell, Begur, Pals
These three cities are all close to each other and are north of Barcelona in the province of Girona. This trip was really my highlight! Back then we rented a car and drove there for three days. It can get quite crowded there in summer, but it’s nice and quiet in the off-season. The bays and beaches are really worth seeing.
The semester abroad in Barcelona was really the best decision I have ever made. For me it was not only a professional development, but also a cultural one. You study together with people from other cultures and countries and you can learn a lot from each other. In addition, my English and Spanish skills have improved and it was really interesting to get to know a different system at the university.
Barcelona is really a great city to study. There are many options and the metro system is really well developed. On average, you never wait longer than four minutes for the train. In addition, the weather is much better than in Germany. I was there from September to December. At the end of October you could still go into the sea, even if it was getting a little colder. From November on it got a little colder, but it was almost always sunny. In December there were still many days when it was 17 degrees and sunny, just great!
Barcelona is one of the best cities to study in and I can only recommend it to anyone who wants to develop culturally as well as academically. My impression of the host university was consistently positive. The lecturers made a very competent impression on me and the content was really very interesting and practical. You should just be careful, because there is a lot stolen in Barcelona!