178 Days of Cádiz Past Review

By (Amherst College) - abroad from 01/05/2017 to 06/30/2017 with

API (Academic Programs International): Cadiz - Universidad de Cadiz

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It definitely was worthwhile. I learned the value of learning from your mistakes. I learned that you don't need to get on a plane to have an adventure and you don't need to spend money to have a good time. I gained new friendships and families. Additionally, I have made unforgettable memories along the way.

Review Photos

API (Academic Programs International): Cadiz - Universidad de Cadiz Photo API (Academic Programs International): Cadiz - Universidad de Cadiz Photo API (Academic Programs International): Cadiz - Universidad de Cadiz Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The main reason I chose the API program in Cádiz was because I wanted a program that would challenge me academically and encourage me to use my Spanish. The integrated nature of the program allowed me to be in the classroom with other Spanish students and immerse myself in their learning.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Vicky is honestly amazing! She works so hard and gives her all to the program. You can tell that she plans everything with so much care. Her dedication and continual effort to improve the program is one of the main reasons why the transition to Cádiz was so easy. Additionally, she always made sure that the student's needs were met, be it medical or something as simple as knowing where to shop. She made herself available as much as possible. Never had I met someone as selfless and kind as her.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family and I can't imagine living any other way. I feel like choosing to live with a family provided me with the most immersive experience where I ate typical Spaniard food and lived a typical Spaniard life. Additionally, living with a family made me feel connected to people as well as minimized my home sickness. Mama Isabel was also so kind and did everything possible to support me and optimize my time there.

* Food:

There are many things I loved about Spain, one of those things were tapas, which are a type of meal that was a collection of appetizers and snacks. Cádiz had many great places that offered an array of food and tapas. There also was the market that offered fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish, since Cádiz is a beach town. Additionally, the meals my host mom cooked were delicious and tended to be typical Spanish cuisines. Overall, every meal I had was a good one, which is a lot to say for me because I am a rather picky eater.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Due to the nature of the program I felt pretty integrated in to the local culture. I made friends with the members of my host family and made many friends in my classroom. These friendships then connected me to the social scene of Cádiz. All this to say that living with a host family as well as taking courses directly with students allowed me to make connection. Additionally, the size of Cádiz made it easy to explore and interact with the community directly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Fortunately I didn't need any healthcare service for the worst thing I went through were allergies in the spring. However, for these little things Vicky was extremely helpful in pointing me in the right direction and guiding me through any process I needed to go through.

* Safety:

I visited many cities and gotten to walk through many streets, but not once did I ever feel unsafe in Cádiz. Overall, Cádiz is a pretty safe place, especially the old part where the university and the program is located at. However, that is not to say that one shouldn't practice precautions such as keeping important items on them instead of bags, not carrying too much cash on you, walking with a friend late at night, and letting people know where you are going if you're traveling. Just because a place is safe doesn't mean you should be careless.

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

Studying abroad was not what I expected and yet it still was such a transforming experience. Everyday I was there was a learning experience. The highs and the lows are what allowed me to grow and discover my independence. It introduced me to a world that I only knew through the pages of a book and the images on a screen. It also made me realize how much I love traveling and my desire to explore the world more.


* 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 feel like if you plan accordingly and are able to manage your money well, Cádiz is a pretty affordable place. The reason I spent more while there was because I also used my budget to travel as well, but that is a bit of an outlying factor. Furthermore, money I spent were on optional things like clothes and souvenirs, very little was spent on basic necessities. However, Cádiz itself is affordable in my opinion. Additionally, with a host family providing you with three meals a day you don't need to spend money for food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80-$120
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is always a good idea to budget and be continuous of you're spending. My rule of thumb is to not spend more than what you have in your bank account. Also, the best thing to do when withdrawing is to withdraw larger quantities of cash than smaller to avoid large transaction fees.


* 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

Since it is an integrated Spanish program there isn't much opportunity to speak English outside of your program friend group. Additionally, it is heavily encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to improve your Spanish speaking skills.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300 level Spanish course
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? Honestly, just talking with your host family and peers is the best practice you can have. Additionally, making an effort to practice with your program peers help as well. Since you also do a lot of independent activities you have many opportunities of practicing your Spanish with people like waiters and store clerks. This is the best way to practice since you are using it in real life scenarios.

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

  • Local 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 length of the program
  • Living in a small beach town
  • The excursions organized by the program and made available to us.
* What could be improved?
  • n/a
  • n/a
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have gone out more and taken advantage of the proximity of things such as the beach. However, overall, I feel like I tried to take as much advantages as I could and did the best I could given my circumstances.