Study in Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2)

Study in Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2)

Planning (application)

Through my compulsory study abroad in Barcelona, ​​I hoped for extensive personal and professional development. In addition to consolidating my Spanish skills, I mainly wanted to learn more about the Spanish and Catalan culture, which was very possible despite a very international study environment with many internationally renowned universities. The Mediterranean climate, the location directly on the Mediterranean Sea and the multitude of monuments and sights also convinced me to spend a semester abroad in Barcelona. Since the Trier University of Applied Sciences has no partnership with the UAB, I applied as a freemover. MicroEDU acted as a free agent and contact person. It was meComprehensive information and helpful advice were made available, which made the application process relatively easy. In addition to good academic performance, a language test was also necessary (in my case TOEFL iBT) in order to be accepted into the UAB’s Pre-Established Program. Read more student reviews on Mcat-test-centers.



Although I had never been to Spain before my stay in Barcelona, ​​I went into my first semester abroad relatively unprepared. Due to the advantages of the European Union, this wasn’t a big disadvantage either, as I didn’t need a visa. However, since I planned to be in Spain for more than three months within six monthsTo stay, however, it was necessary to acquire a so-called NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero), a foreigner identification number. This is also required for the purchase of various services such as the bike rental system or the T-Jove of the metro in Barcelona. If you have enough lead time, you can apply to a Spanish consulate in Germany, which avoids uncomfortable waiting times or complicated official calls in Spanish. In addition, appointments in Barcelona are only given on Mondays at exactly 8:00 a.m. on the website of the immigration authorities, which causes a large rush of only a few appointments each week and several attempts may be necessary. Since the NIE theoretically has to be applied for by all foreign students in Spain (which is far from the reality),


Finding accommodation in Barcelona is entirely possible, but depending on personal preferences, it can be nerve-wracking. Many of my fellow students flew to Spain one to two weeks in advance to look for accommodation on site. This promises a higher degree of certainty about the correctness of the landlord’s information, but is not recommended without sufficient knowledge of Spanish. Many landlords do not respond to emails or messages at all on popular portals such as Idealista, which is why fluent communication in Spanish over the phone is necessary. Although most of the locals in Barcelona have a relatively good command of English, this is by no means the case for all Spaniards.

I personally booked my apartment through HousingAnywhere and RentRoomBarcelona, ​​which I can only recommend. Due to the very central location in Eixample right next to a UAB campus, my accommodation was relatively expensive, which is why I would recommend other areas to others. Safe and cheaper areas with good locations are Gracia, Poble Sec or El Born. I would rather avoid Gotic, the old town of Barcelona, ​​due to the tourist crowds and the lack of quiet at night. I can only advise against an apartment in El Raval, one of the more popular nightlife areas in Barcelona. Although I really enjoy being a guest in one of the many different bars and restaurantswas there, it can be very dangerous there at night. Many foreign students from my circle of friends underestimated the potential dangers of Barcelona, ​​which they unfortunately often had to pay for with the loss of their valuables. Other helpful portals when looking for accommodation are ResaHousing, Spotahome or Idealista. I obtained my international health insurance from ERGO travel insurance, which offered the best price-performance ratio in comparison.

Situation on site


Through MicroEDU, I was relatively well informed about the requirements and courses on site. I also got access to a WhatsApp group in which all students who came to UAB via MicroEDU were included. This made it possible to make initial contacts before the start of the semester. One week before the start of the lecture, there was an introductory event on the Sant Pau campus of the UAB, at which all participants of the Study Abroad program were present. Since I received my “timetable” before I left for Spain, we were only briefly informed about the UAB and Barcelona itself in order to have a good start to the semesterto enable. Unfortunately, this event was kept relatively short, with many students criticizing the lack of networking opportunities. As the pre-established program only takes place on the Eixample and Sant Pau campuses, a visit to the main campus in Bellaterra was not necessary. Leisure and sports facilities were only available on the main campus, and the library in Sant Pau is relatively small and does not offer many workplaces. The library of the Pompeu Fabra University is particularly recommended here.


I took the courses in Managing Services, Human Resource Management, E-Commerce and Online Businesses and Spanish A2, which I can thoroughly recommend. Thanks to the project-based structure of the courses, you can quickly come into contact with other international students and develop new content yourself. Submission deadlines were divided into a mid-term and a final week. By constantly working in groups, the workload is felt to be higher during the semester, but this avoids a nerve-wracking exam phase.


I made social contacts mainly through living in a shared apartment and ESN, which is why I definitely recommend purchasing the ESN card at the beginning of the semester. The Erasmus Student Network offers many discounts for students, such as cheaper flights including luggage with RyanAir, discounts on bus or train tickets and reduced prices for drinks in various bars. ESN also offers various excursions into the surrounding area of ​​Barcelona, which are difficult to achieve without your own or rented car. An incredibly cheap and trustworthy car rental company in Barcelona for us was Centauro Rental (at the airport!), With which we never had any problems.

A major criticism of my study abroad in Barcelona, ​​however, is the large number of tourists in Barcelona, ​​which brings the city to its limits. Many residents also seem annoyed by tourists who are causing apartment prices in Barcelona to rise exponentially through portals like AirBnB. In addition, it was sometimes difficult to improve my Spanish skills, as many people also consider foreign students to be tourists and therefore switch to English relatively quickly. Due to the Catalan culture in and around Barcelona, ​​the spread of the Catalan language, which is preferred to Spanish in many places, should not be underestimated.

The fact that Barcelona is a tourist city can be seen above all from the apartment prices. I paid € 650 a month for my exterior room in La Dreta de l’Eixample, which was relatively simply furnished. When looking for an apartment, it should be noted that in Spain a distinction is made between exterior and interior rooms. Exterior rooms have a window with daylight, while interior rooms usually have a window into the hallway or a shaft inside the building. You can shop cheaply at Aldi, Lidl or Mercadona, which can be compared in price with the discounters in Germany. Carrefour, a French supermarket chain, is roughly at an Edeka or Rewe price level, but rarely available in the city center.

Go out

Going out in Barcelona is possible in many ways, but I would advise against tourist traps. Under no circumstances can I recommend the clubs and bars on the beach (for example Pacha or Opium), as the prices and the chance of stolen valuables are both very high. Recommended areas for bars are Raval or Gotic, and Poble Sec in particular offers almost unlimited possibilities for tapas. Poble Nou is often ignored by many students and tourists, but with the club and concert location Razzmatazz and various bars it offers a very good opportunity to go out. Other recommended locations are above all on the Poble Espanyol site (La Terrrazza, Input, Hivernacle), Sala Apollo or the City Hall. There are also many outdoor events in summer such as Brunch in the Park or La Merce, the city festival of Barcelona that takes place in September.

Situation after return (findings)

At my university there were no problems with the recognition of the ECTS obtained abroad, as I recorded the courses and their contents beforehand with a foreign supervisor. Due to the lack of a partnership between the Trier University of Applied Sciences and the UAB, no learning agreement via Erasmus was necessary. Since two study-integrated stays abroad are mandatory in my course, I was already prepared for the international experience in previous semesters. However, it was still very exciting for me to be able to gain new experience at a university other than my home university. I have certainly been able to improve my Spanish skills and have personally taken a lot of knowledge back to Germany with me. Above all, this includes knowledge of the Catalan culture and Spanish way of life, which offers some differences compared to the German mentality. However, as soon as you get used to the initially unstructured processes, studying in Spain is highly recommended in terms of quality.

Study in Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 2

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