API Salamanca Review Past Review

By (Harvard University) - abroad from 01/09/2017 to 03/23/2017 with

API (Academic Programs International): Buenos Aires - Gap Year Intensive Language Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Overall, my experience in Salamanca was extremely positive. I consider the town a second-home, and have already made plans to go back this spring! Studying in Salamanca made me a more adventurous, independent person. I became much more comfortable with being outside of my comfort zone, which I considered to be an invaluable skill as I entered into college. I am also highly proficient in Spanish now, so that's a bonus!

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.

My classes at the University of Salamanca were pretty interesting. They were all very small, so I had a lot of opportunity to speak in class. You will likely be in a class with other students who are learning Spanish as a second or third language, so it didn’t feel like an intimidating environment. I almost never had homework so my afternoons and evenings were free to explore Salamanca and hang out with friends, which was nice. I found that I learned the most Spanish through speaking with my homestay and talking to the locals.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

API was extremely accommodating and easily accessible. They were knowledgable and really friendly. Ana (our program coordinator) was absolutely lovely. After orientation, the program is pretty hands-off, but if I ever needed them, they were extremely easy to contact and provided me with all the resources I needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay was so sweet and caring. She spoke no English at all, so living there really forced me to use the language all the time, which is great for learning. I remember spending many nights watching Spanish Game Shows (concursos) and chatting late in the night with my homestay. She introduced me to her entire family, who frequently visited to have lunch or dinner with us. Another bonus of living with a homestay is the delicious food. Even though I ran every day by the river, I gained 10 lbs during my time in Spain (whoops). The food really is to die for.

* Food:

Errmehgahd the food is amazing.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The nightlife in Salamanca is awesome! There are lots of discotecas and bars. The town is crawling with university students, so there is almost always a party going on. However, for me, it was hard to make friends sometimes because I was the only American in my classes which were almost entirely full of Chinese students. Many of these students did not speak much English and were learning Spanish as a second language. It was, at times, hard to connect because many of them were most comfortable speaking Chinese with each other, so I had a hard time integrating and making friends within my courses.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never got sick, so I cannot really answer this question.

* Safety:

I always felt pretty safe walking around the city.

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

API did a good job of integrating us into the town of Salamanca. The trips we took to Seville and London were both very fun! Our program coordinator was so friendly and knowledgable.


* 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)

4. Salamanca is pretty cheap! The only thing that could get expensive are weekend trips around Spain/Europe.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you eat all your meals with your homestay, you can save a lot of money for trips and parties on the weekend!


* 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? Advanced
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? AP 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 the locals! Find a person who wants to learn English and form an "intercambio"

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • The Town
  • The University
  • My Homestay
* What could be improved?
  • More Group Outings/Social Facilitation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I would talk more with local University students! They're a great means of learning the language and getting to know the town and culture much more quickly. Sign up for intercambios!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.