Summer to Remember in Madrid Past Review

By (Mercyhurst College) - abroad from 06/04/2016 to 07/30/2016 with

Adelante: Madrid - Intern In Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a great deal about the Spanish culture, the history of the cities I visited as well as Madrid. My internship also taught me a great deal about the international financial and stock market. I bettered my navigating skills for big cities as well as invaluable Spanish language sklls that I will contiune to work on upon returning.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

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?

* 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

I interned in Madrid for the past two months through the Adelante Abroad program. Adelante essentially sets everything up for you prior to arrival including your internship placement and housing and then you are basically on your own. My girlfriend and I both took part in the Adelante program and were able to live together in an incredibly nice apartment set up by Adelante in a very nice neighborhood of Madrid. It was definitely a relief having an apartment with zero issues, making Madrid instantly feel like home. The adelante program starts off with two weeks at the Eureka language school where you are completely immersed in Spanish, with zero english speaking allowed in the school. Having very little Spanish background prior to this summer I was definitely overwhelmed in the first 15 minutes at Eureka, but that went away by the end of the first day and I really enjoyed the school and lessons. I actually wish there was someway that the program could work in additional time at Eureka into the 8 week program rather than just the two weeks in the beginning, but I understand that would be difficult with the internship hours the last 6 weeks. I have a fairly unique major in college, making it somewhat difficult to find an internship placement in Madrid, but Adelante placed me with Sotavento Consultores, a financial consulting firm doing market research analysis and I was very happy with my experience at Sotavento. I was basically independent on my own projects for the entirety of the six weeks interning at Sotavento, allowing me to take on as much as I wanted in terms of workload. The work place is certainly different in Spain than the United States, but Im very grateful to have had the opportunity to see how business is conducted in Spain and to give insight on business in the United States. I did a significant amount of research before traveling to Spain and decided to purchase an Eurail pass for traveling on weekends and I am incredibly glad I did. I was able to spend two weekends in Barcelona, a weekend in Valencia, San Sebastian and Granada as well as a day in Segovia all without worrying about the cost of point to point train tickets. My time traveling on weekends was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, and I would recommend other Adelante candidates do the same as you will have plenty of time to explore Madrid during the week days after your internship and in the one or two weekends you spend here when not traveling. Spain is a beautiful country and each region looks and feels entirely different, definitely something worth experiencing. While Madrid was not my favorite city I visited in Spain, I was very glad I chose to do the Adelante program here rather than another city for several reasons: 1)Spanish is much more common in Madrid than other cities. From my experience, it appeared that Madrid had much less English speakers which made learning and speaking Spanish much more important and necessary, something I definitely wanted from an abroad program. While in Barcelona I felt like I heard more English than Spanish or Catalan, definitely not the case in Madrid. 2) Madrid is centrally located in Spain. It was very convenient to be within a 5 hour train ride of every city I wanted to visit, making it possible to see as much of Spain as I did. 3) Madrid is the heart and hub of Spain. From a professional point of view, Madrid definitely had the feel of a big business city most similar to what a businessman is likely to encounter while leaving home for work in the U.S, giving me additional experience in how best to navigate big cities, which is infinitely different than what I grew up around. The Adelante program is definitely not the typical summer abroad experience from what I read about from other programs online prior to choosing Adelante, but that is not a bad thing. The cost of Adelante was definitely cheaper than any other programs I came across, and this is probably due to the independence the program includes. You will feel as connected to Adelante or as independent in a foreign country as you choose. My girlfriend and I essentially had no contact with Adelante aside from the weekly or biweekly emails they send, and I was completely okay with that, while I understand others may want more of a structured program. If structure is what you are looking for than Adelante probably is´nt the right program, but if you want to get a real world experience in a foreign city where you can basically do what you want when you want to do it then I would recommend Adelante. I was a big fan of not having oversight while abroad as it forced me to figure everything out on my own. Adelante was definitely the best program for the best price for what I was hoping to get from a summer abroad, and without a doubt the most valuable experience I´ve had in my life. Having never been abroad aside from the Caribbean, I was very nervous to leave the U.S, but as im getting ready to leave Spain in another day I cannot wait to figure out where I will travel to next.


* 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)

I cooked most of the time during the week as groceries in Spain are incredibly cheaper than the United States and spent the bulk of my money on weekends between traveling and eating while traveling. I had budgeted before I left for Madrid however and followed my budget almost completely.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Look into Eurail passes if you plan on traveling more than 3 weekends and cook your meals during the week the majority of the time.


* 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? Intro to 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? Definitely download the duolingo app prior to coming to Spain and start going through the exercises.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?
  • Traveling to different cities in Spain
  • Trying all the different Spanish food around the country
  • the independence of the Adelante program
* What could be improved?
  • More language classes or speaking clubs after the first two weeks
  • English correspondences from the Madrid coordinator
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Adelante essentially has no part in the program once you go abroad. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think this is understated. To say it is an independent program is not quite enough, you are basically in Spain on your own with just a generic how was your weekend email every two weeks from an Adelante worker.

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!