Best Four Months of My LIfe Past Review

By (Psychology/Spanish, Assumption College) - abroad from 01/06/2014 to 05/16/2014 with

AIFS: Salamanca - University of Salamanca

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about the world, people, and myself studying abroad. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and it was without a doubt the best thing I have ever done for myself. In the beginning, I was scared and anxious, this being the hardest and scariest thing I have ever done in my life, but after two weeks you will never want to go home

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The best professors I have ever had, Spent more time connecting with us and learning then simply preparing us for a project or a test.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

AIFS was an amazing program, helped me with everything, traveling, schoolwork and adjusting to life in Spain and readjusting to life at home. I am so happy I chose Salamanca and this program!!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At first I was hesitate to live in a home stay but after this semester, I realized it was the best decision and greatly added to my experience abroad. My host mother was the sweetest and really helped me to adjust in the beginning, not to mention the food was amazing and created a more authentic "Spanish" experience

* Food:

The food was absolutely amazing, very simple and always very filling. I miss it everyday

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Integrating into the culture and community is all what you make of it, If you put yourself out there and meet people, you will connect and integrate but if you keep to yourself it may be difficult.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not have any health issues abroad, but for my friends who did, any problems were personally handled by my program director. Nobody ever had complaints

* Safety:

Salamanca was like any other city or place, good parts and bad. You just have to be smart and aware of your surroundings. I walked home alone countless nights and was fine, I never felt unsafe, but again just be aware.

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? 50 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Stick to the budget, it will save you loads of money, However, sometimes you need to break the budget for once in a lifetime opportunities


* 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? 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? 200 level course at university
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? Just speak to everybody, all the time. Take advantage of speaking Spanish all day

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?
  • Cultural experiences
  • Program director Gaye was amazing
  • How well they organized and kept you informed
* What could be improved?
  • more group activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? take advantage of all the opportunities that you are offered