The best decision I've ever made Past Review

By (SUNY - College at Geneseo) - abroad from 01/09/2012 to 05/04/2012 with

Academia Latinoamericana de Espanol: Cusco - Academia Latinoamericana Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about Latin American culture, gained a new reference-point on different social and political issues, met people from all over the world, and got to better my Spanish-language skills. If I could do it all over again, I would do so in a heartbeat.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Monica and Rafo are, without a doubt, the best family to have in Cusco.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Travel by bus is less expensive, but takes more time. Travel by plane is quicker, but also very expensive in South America.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-100 (depending on travel)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure you know how to bargain in the market, look for better meal-deals within in the city (it's possible to get a 3-course meal for as little as 3-5 soles)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I never spoke English with my professors/staff.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Mid 200-level Spanish at SUNY Oneonta
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk to as many people as possible, don't be afraid to converse with your host family. Be careful when practicing the language with friends (be aware of their incorrect words/grammar - not necessarily calling them out on it. It's as easy to pick up bad habits as it is to pick up good habits). If you're not sure about words - ask! If you learn a knew word, try to use it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Increasing my Spanish level
  • Meeting people from all over the world and within the USA
  • Learning about Latin American culture
* What could be improved?
  • Up-to-date visa advice
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Overall, I feel like I had a lot of preparation.