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Coursework Abroad: Barcelona

by Caroline English Monday, March 26, 2012

Barcelona is one of the most popular study abroad programs across Europe, and a big reason for that is the weather. Since I have been here it has only rained a few times, and is almost always sunny. I did over estimate the average temperature a little though, packing perhaps a few too many sundresses and tank tops. The months of January and February were sunny and nice, usually in the 50s to mid 60s, but definitely not beach weather; and it gets chilly during the night. There was one week with record cold temperatures for Barcelona, and my friends even had a test canceled because there were a few snow flurries in the air! Needless to say this seemed funny coming from Wisconsin. Now that March is starting, the weather will only continue to get better. Today I sat on the rooftop patio of the CIEE Program study center to get my homework done for the day. Getting some sun while overlooking a street lined with palm trees makes schoolwork seem not too bad at all.


Caroline at Port Vell

Classes in Barcelona are definitely different than they are in Wisconsin. In the CIEE program you take some of your classes at the CIEE study center with other people in the Business and Culture program. The other classes are taken at a business school in Barcelona called Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional at Universitat Pompeu Fabra with Spanish students attending that university. You can take classes in either Spanish or English, depending on your level of Spanish. Everyone in this program takes a Spanish class 3 times a week, takes 2 or 3 business classes and 1 or 2 culture classes, for a total of 16 credits. My courses include Intermediate Spanish, International Marketing, Marketing Cultural Heritage, Corporate Social Responsibility, and International Strategic Management.  I was able to make sure that all of the classes that I am taking here transfer back as UW credits, which is really helpful when it comes to graduating on time.

It’s very enriching to be able to learn about international business in the classroom and experience it first hand as I visit international businesses or buy international products. Taking culture classes that pertain directly to Barcelona is also quite exhilarating. In many classes over here we take interesting field trips throughout the city, which is a great way to learn about it first hand. Today, with my International Marketing class, I was able to visit the world headquarters of Mango, an international clothing company that is headquartered in Barcelona.

Parc Ciutadella 

La Parc de la Ciutadella

For many of my classes there is a midterm, a final, and a group project with a presentation. One of my classes has no tests but weekly assignments and a final project. I just had my midterms last week and most of them went well I hope, but I am still waiting to hear how I did. Overall, I would say that I like my classes here in Barcelona and that I am learning a lot of interesting and relevant information.