My study abroad experience was the most eye opening experience of my life! August 22, 2016

By (Ball State University) - abroad from 09/18/2016 to 12/19/2016 with

AIFS: Granada - University of Granada and Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
From my experience, I learned how to empathize with those living in the United States who are not originally from here. My experience was most definitely worthwhile.

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?

The home stay AIFS set me up with was amazing. I had such a wonderful host mother that was truly passionate about what she does. I still keep in contact with her!

* Food:

The tapas are phenomenal in southern Spain.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Sometimes it was hard to get away from my American friends and hangout with the locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any health issues during my time abroad.

* Safety:

Granada always felt really safe but obviously, always take a buddy everywhere you go.

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

As a first timer, I 100% believe AIFS was the best choice. They provide a lot of guidance but also allow you to be independent. But if I were to do it again knowing all that I know now I may go through a more independent based program to allow myself to interact more with the locals.

Finances

* 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)

Living on a budget was very easy in Granada as it is one of the cheapest places to study abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't spend money on a lot of clothes abroad as you won't be able to fit them in your suitcase to go home anyways.

Language

* 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

AIFS encouraged me to use the language all the time but I was in a school with all Americans so sometimes it was hard to put this into action.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? Spanish 300
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 many local friends and try not to use English at all. You will benefit the most if you try to minimize your time using English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • My homestay
  • AIFS offered guidance every step of the way
  • The excursions
* What could be improved?
  • I think the program should do more with setting students up in classrooms with local students. I had class with all Americans and I think I would've benefited more if I had class with Spanish students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have taken the advice to only bring one suitcase more seriously. I can not stress enough that two suitcases is too much. You will hate lugging that around when you get to your location and when you leave.

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.