Checklist

An exchange semester in Barcelona! You have been accepted by the university and are already registered.
What is important?

1. Residence permit

Students from EU countries don´t need any residence permit.

Students from other countries have to apply for a visa, which can be requested at the Spanish embassy or the consulat.

A tourist visa can only be issued for 3 months and you are not considered as a student when you enter Spain with it. Therefore it is very important to apply for the correct visa.

2. Accommodation

You have to be very careful because there are many fraudulent agencies offering rooms and/or flats for unreasonable prices. They pretend to be licenced agencies and ask i.e. for payment in advance for a list with addresses of apartments and rooms.

Therefore you should inform yourself carefully beforehand and check all offers. We have placed a number of accommodation possibilities for students on this site, ranging from halls of residence, apartments to rooms in shared flats. All of them are provided by reliable companies and universities / university services, respectively.
……here you can access the above mentioned links concerning “student accommodation”

3. Insurance

Which insurance should you actually take out before going abroad?
Well covered by insurance are you with:

  • a health insurance coverage ( absolutely elementary!!!)
  • an accident insurance (a good supplement)
  • a traveller´s third party liability insurance

You should get some information at various insurance companies in your home country and compare prices and services. Maybe you can use one of the following links.

Europ Assistance España; you can search here for countries; you will find insurance packages for students
http://www.europ-assistance.es/corporativa/

Offer for students from the US
http://www.worldwideassistance.com/groups.htm

Offer for french students
http://www.europ-assistance.fr/front/

4. Living costs

The costs for a living in Barcelona are similar to the costs in other large European cities. You will spend i.e. more money on living costs in Paris and London, while it would be cheaper to live in Lisbon or Athens. Rome, however is on the same price level as Barcelona.

The monthly expenses add up to approx. 500 € to 800 €, which is my personal evaluation, therefore very subjective. However, it depends very much on the rent you have to pay for your accommodation. Don´t forget to calculate a bit more money for the beginning, as you have more singular expenses i.e. the deposit.

5. How can you reach Barcelona?

The airport of Barcelona “El Prat” is situated approx. 12 km from the city centre. It is the second biggest airport of Spain concerning the number of passengers, so you have the opportunity to compare various airlines and pick out the best fare.

My suggestions:

www.statravelgroup.com - here you can choose your STA Travel Country and are transferred directly to the country-specific STA Travel Homepage.
STA Travel is a travel service for students; in addition to flights you can also book accommodation, trips, travel insurances, etc.; as far as flights are concerned, you can specifically search for student rates; it is also possible to book one-way flights; STA Travel charges a service fee of 7,00 € for flights cheaper than 150 € (without tax).

„Low cost carriers“; they are not as cheap as they seem; the price depends on the season and the departure – arrival airports; if these three elements look promising, then you can actually make a bargain; therefore: take a look at following pages!
Germanwings - http://www21.germanwings.com
Easyjet - http://www.easyjet.com
Ryanair - http://www.ryanair.com
Airberlin - http://www.airberlin.com

Student and youth rates:

Iberia:
Youth rate up to 24 years
Student rate up to 29 years; you need an international student ID (ISIC), which you can apply for at your university, in various travel agencies, etc.

More information on ISIC: http://www.isic.org/sisp/index.htm
On this website you have the possibility to search for ISIC issuing offices and discounts in the various countries.

Lufthansa:
Youth rate up to 24 years

Spanair:
Youth rate up to 24 years

Air France:
Youth rate up to 24 years

Once you landed at Barcelona airport, there are different ways to get into the city centre.

By train:
The train (Renfe) leaves the airport every 30 minutes between 6:13 and 23:40 with direction city centre. It takes around 20 minutes, depending where you get off and it stops at Sants and Plaza Catalunya.
http://horarios.renfe.es/cer/hjcer300.jsp?&NUCLEO=50

By bus:
A special airport shuttle leaves every 12 minutes, starting from 6:00 and running until 24:00 on working days. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays it runs from 6:30 until 24:00. You can buy your ticket on the bus and go as far as Plaza Catalunya, which is the terminal stop.
http://www.buscaprat.com/imagenes/transportes/Aerobus.htm

By taxi:
A taxi drive from the airport to the city centre costs approx. 20 € bis 25 €.
Especially if you have a lot of luggage it is a wise idea to pay for a taxi, as there are long ways to walk between some stations (train, underground), including stairs. Another option would be to take the bus or train to Plaza Catalunya and then get a taxi from there to your accommodation