Study in Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (8)

Study in Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (8)

1. Application process

The application process for Barcelona is very simple. After I was sure that I wanted to go to Barcelona, ​​I applied through the free agency “ MicroEDU ”. The semester abroad started on September 3rd and I applied in March, right at the beginning of the application phase. I applied for the “Pre-established study abroad program”, in which almost all courses are in English and the university campus is right in the center of Barcelona.

All I had to do to apply was submit the following documents:

  • List of selected courses
  • Copy of the certificate of enrollment
  • Copy of the transcript of records
  • Copy of an identification document
  • Passport photo
  • English test (the DAAD test is sufficient)

The agency then sends the complete application to Barcelona and you don’t have to worry about anything.

After you have received an acceptance you have to pay 500 €. This should be done quickly, as the students who pay first also get into their desired courses. This was not a problem for me and I was able to take the courses I wanted. Depending on the course chosen, the remaining tuition fees are due approximately 4 weeks before the start of the semester.

At the beginning of the semester there is the so-called “add-and-drop period”, where you can try to swap places in courses with other students. I wouldn’t rely on that, however.

2. Description of the city and region

Barcelona is located in the north-eastern part of Spain and directly on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the region of Catalonia and around 1.6 million people live within the urban area. In my opinion, Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities around. It offers endless possibilities for exploring and of course the beach is a huge plus. I found the people to be consistently open-minded. Everyone was helpful, open and friendly.

The German weather cannot be compared with the Spanish weather. In my 4 months I only had 4 rainy days and never had clouds in the sky. Even in mid-November we could still lie on the beach in bikinis. So you have a completely different and more positive outlook on life in Barcelona.

3. Finding accommodation

Finding an apartment in Barcelona has turned out to be very easy, living rather complicated. There are countless pages on the Internet and also many groups on Facebook where you can search for apartments / shared flats. These include, for example, idealista,, wg-sucht and pisocompartido. I checked the Internet beforehand and made viewing appointments for the first few days.

First of all, I have to say that the Spanish standard does not correspond to the German and I was a bit shocked at first. After a few visits, I found a small room in a shared apartment near the Sagrada Familia with 2 South Americans and an Indian and moved into it on the same day. There are an infinite number of free rooms in Barcelona and you can find a free room very quickly. In retrospect, I would prefer to live in the old town and I also found the “Raval” district, which was considered a bit dangerous, to be very beautiful.

In general, when looking for an apartment, I would also recommend paying attention to whether there is a functioning heating system and how noisy it is in the room. In Barcelona, ​​garbage collectors etc. always come at night and it can be very noisy and in winter without heating it can also be cold. Many of my friends and I had problems in the rooms / apartments, but many also felt very comfortable.

In the end I didn’t get along with my landlords and I moved for December without further ado. I would recommend having everything confirmed in writing. To insist on rent as well as deposit and, if necessary, on a written rental agreement.

4. Description of the university / faculty

The Autonomous University of Barcelona is divided into several locations.

The main campus is about 30 km from Barcelona. There are 2 buildings in the city where the courses of the “Pre-established” program take place. Only foreign students take part in this program, not Spaniards. Generally there are around 70% Americans, a lot of Brazilians, Dutch, Germans etc. The first campus is called “Sant Pau” and is a really nice building in Barcelona that also has a library.

The second campus, “Eixample” is located right in the city center and is rather simple, smaller and modern. My courses all took place on this campus. The classrooms are comparable to German classrooms in schools. There are around 20/25 students per course and it’s all very personal. A lecture lasts 1:40 hours and the first lesson begins at 9 a.m. There is a 20 minute break between each hour and a 1 hour break at noon. The last lecture lasts until 7:25 p.m.

5. Integration in the course of studies (BA)

The “Pre-established” program offers a large number of courses for foreign students. 6 credits are recognized per course. The semester at the UAB can only be taken in September, as the 1st semester always starts in January. Overall, the integration turned out to be very easy.

6. Description of the courses taken

The courses at UAB are very similar to those at school. Attendance is compulsory and you should collaborate orally. Unlike in Germany, there were not only exams at the end of the semester, but the grades were made up of many individual assessments. Most subjects have a final and a midterm exam, as well as many case studies and presentations.

Overall, it is “more stressful” during your studies than in Germany because you have to work continuously. On the other hand, it is significantly less at the end of the semester. A course takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday is free and therefore everything is very easy to do.

I took 4 courses on site:

a) Doing business in emerging markets

In this course we dealt with economically emerging countries and markets. The course consisted of two parts. At the beginning of the semester we were assigned a partner and a country and had to present news from this country on a weekly basis. In addition to theory, we did a case study every week and also handed it in. After the midterm, each team had to give a presentation on the entry of a Spanish company into our emerging country.

There was both a midterm and a final exam in this course. The lecturer was very nice and it was very important that people not learn by heart but understand. I liked the course very much.

b) Cross-Cultural Management

This course was my favorite course. We discussed different cultural dimensions and due to the many nationalities in the class it was never boring and always interesting. We had to give and submit an individual presentation, a group presentation including a term paper, and at the end we wrote an exam.

c) Managerial Skills for International Business

I also really enjoyed this course. The lecturer was really very good and, in addition to theory, we also did a lot of role plays to consolidate the theory. It was mainly about “everyday” situations in professional life and how best to cope with them. This included, for example, time management and leadership skills. The lecturer varied between many media, so it was always interesting. There was a midterm and a final term.

d) International Marketing Strategies

I am also very satisfied with this course choice. It was the most time-consuming course for me with MicroEDUM. In addition to theories, we worked on a lot of case studies and applied marketing strategies. Within the course we had to write a midterm and a final exam. In addition, we worked out a term paper in groups and each had to give two presentations. Every week we were introduced to a new company and its strategy, about which we had to answer and submit questions.

Overall, I really enjoyed all of the courses. There is a clear difference when the teacher knows all students by name. In addition, it is a change that both attendance and participation are included in the final grade. It was a very personal atmosphere and I really took away a lot. I liked the fact that it was mostly less theoretical than in Germany. I can definitely recommend these courses and especially as a European (mostly hardworking and punctual in contrast to many Americans) it is really easy to get a good grade.

7. Statement of costs and financing options

Since the UAB is not a partner university of our university, I had to pay the tuition fees myself. I took 4 courses (24 ECTS) on site and paid € 2605.

I paid 370 € for the rent in the first 3 months and another 200 € for December because I wasn’t there for the whole month. I would definitely recommend asking the landlord whether it is possible to reduce the rent if you are no longer on site for a full month. Many landlords are very accommodating. Here I would also give the tip to have this confirmed in writing.

The public transport network in Barcelona is very well developed. Under 25s can buy a 3-month ticket for € 105, which I would definitely recommend. With this you can use the metro, the bus, the night bus and the tram.

I spent around € 400 a month on living, eating and drinking. I have to say that we went to dinner very often, tried a lot, went to many museums and exhibitions. If you cook yourself a lot, it is probably a lot cheaper.

I was in Barcelona most of the time and only visited a friend over the weekend in Valencia once. So I spent very little on trips.

For trips I can recommend everyone to use the long-distance bus, which, like in Germany, are very cheap.

Statement of costs

  • 4 courses: € 2605
  • Rent for 4 months: 1310 €
  • 3-month ticket: € 105
  • 1-month ticket: € 50
  • Living / eating / drinking: 400 € / month
  • Trips: 60 €
  • Security deposit: € 370
  • Flights: € 150
  • Spanish teacher: 400 €
  • Total: 6650 € (including deposit)

If you want to apply for BAföG abroad, you should do so as early as possible.

8. Professional and personal experience

I think Barcelona has brought me a lot, both professionally and personally.

The lessons were not predominantly theoretical, as in most German universities, but theories were often presented on the basis of cases, exercises, presentations or films and then analyzed. This made it possible to understand a lot of the material during the semester and you had to study less for exams. Read more student reviews on Educationvv.

Personally, Barcelona also brought me a lot. For me it was the first time to “stand on my own two feet” and live alone. I have become much more independent and open.

9. Tips for those interested

There is so much to see and discover in Barcelona. I would especially recommend the following places / restaurants:

  • Bunkers del Carmel (a must-do !!)
  • Restaurant “La Luna” (Carrer Abaixadors 10)
  • Bun Bo (Vietnamese) and Rosa Negra (Mexican) restaurants
  • La Xampaneyeria and for the best paella O’toxo tres hermanos
  • Girona (Dali Museum), Montserrat Monastery (day trip)
  • FC Barcelona football match
  • Sitges (or Costa Brava for beautiful beaches)

I can absolutely recommend Barcelona as a semester abroad !

Study in Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 8

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