Tapas, Fiestas & Siestas: an amazing experience Past Review

By (Business Administration, Management and Operations., Hampton University) - abroad from 07/07/2014 to 09/26/2014 with

Adelante: Madrid - Intern In Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was more than a worthwhile experience. The people I met here and the knowledge I gained was amazing. I am so glad I chose this program. I learned so much and had a lot of fun.

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.

Amazing classes. I found I learned so much more here than in my university courses because they only speak to you in Spanish and really encourage conversation. I hadn’t had as much experience with this beforehand.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

First the program administrator for Adelante in Madrid doesn’t speak any English. This would have been a problem if my roommate in my apartment, who was completely fluent in Spanish, was not there most of the time to assist me with understanding and speaking with him. He is a nice enough man. However, we did have one incident when he called my roommate and I ungrateful for not wanting to work 40 hours a week, when it actually is against Spanish working laws and not what we agreed to do coming into this program. Overall he was very nice though and he told us to think of him as our grandpa abroad, which was sweet.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They were reasonably nice apartments; however the landlord and his mother who lived across the hall from me during my first month had a lot of confrontation with one of my roommates which ultimately cause me to have a lot of mishaps with them just by association. Also, they pretty much enter the apartments whenever they want. After I moved things were a lot better. There is no AC in the apartments though and in the summer they can be unbearably hot depending on where your room is in the building. Also, because they are in the center of Madrid they can be very loud at night; to me this was a fair trade-off because they really are located in a prime spot in the city.

* Food:

I do not eat red meat, and I am not a fan of a lot of meat in general. Spanish people love ham and meat so it was difficult for me to find Spanish dishes that I like. My favorite is paella, but that’s about the only food I particularly care for. If you are a vegan or vegetarian keep this in mind that a lot of the food here has meat. Also, I found Spanish food quite bland and lacking a lot of flavor.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like I was able to completely immerse into the culture. From siestas in the day to staying up until the sunrise partying the night away with the locals. I do enjoy Spain´s relaxed culture. However if you’re looking for efficiency, or excellent customer service you won’t find it here. Everyone is so chill and nobody is in a rush. Most of the time this is a great thing, until you’re lost or in a rush to do something. Overall I would say that I loved the culture here and the wonderful people I met.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health care issues.

* Safety:

I felt extremely safe here. Besides from pickpockets, which come with every major city, I never felt I was in any imminent danger.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Spending depends on how disciplined you are and what you are looking to get out of Madrid. I cooked a lot and did not go to many expensive clubs. If you like to go out to eat a lot and party at the big clubs then you will spend more money. Plus the exchange rate automatically makes everything a bit more expensive, so keep that in mind.


* 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

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 202
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? If you are seriously trying to learn Spanish stay in the Spanish speaking apartments. Many of my roommates spoke English and I was not constantly immersed in the language like I should have been to get a better grasp on Spanish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Supportive Adelante Staff in America
  • My internship experience
  • Spanish classes
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? 1. How much money I would actually be spending 2. The apartments would not have AC and weak wifi connection 3. The program director in Madrid only speaks Spanish

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.