Summer of fun! Past Review

By (HISTORY., Smith College) - abroad from 06/02/2012 to 08/29/2012 with

Adelante: Madrid - Intern In Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am now a competent Spanish speaker with job experience in Spain. So yes, totally worthwhile.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: I worked at a non-profit organization, CEPI
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I very much enjoyed the program because it gave me a great deal of freedom. I was able to work all day and that really helped to improve my Spanish skills. I suppose that if a person picked an internship that didn't require much work, then the program would not be so intense, but that is the point of the program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very good, very helpful, I had very few problems.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very nice apartment right in the heart of Madrid

* Food:

No food provided, you cook for yourself.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It is a self-motivational program, they provide you with help, but it is your job to mix with the people of Madrid. I liked this because it forced me to really blend and to really push my boundaries, but the program does not provide activities and other cultural events in advance, they are up to you and people should be aware of that beforehand.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no major problems and the pharmacies were very helpful in Madrid.

* Safety:

In Madrid there is a fair amount of pick-pocketing, but if you keep your stuff close there is really nothing to worry about. I have never really felt safer in a city.

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)

2.5, but I also tutored English on the side for extra money

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself, it saves money. Also, in Spain if you cook your lunch and then just have a drink with a cheap tapa for dinner with friends it saves a ton of money.


* 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 mean, once again, the program really pushes you to self-motivate, so if you really don't want to speak Spanish, then you won't. This said, however, your landlord and people running the program in Spain really only speak Spanish and this will push you to speak Spanish. Obviously, your internship will be in Spanish and hopefully this will push you to speak with relative fluency.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? College level basic Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make friends with natives!!!!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Housing
  • placement in internships
  • location
* What could be improved?
  • wifi
  • a bit more guidance
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to speak Spanish

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!