Not the norm, but a fabulous experience. Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 02/28/2012 to 06/28/2012 with

API (Academic Programs International): Krakow - Jagiellonian University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile, but I can't put into words all that I took from this experience.

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 program is with ERASMUS students, which means the classes are much less challenging than at my home university. I learned a lot in the classes that interested me, in those that I had less interest I didn't invest as much time to extra study.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our Krakow advisor was absolutely wonderful. He knew the city well, was very helpful with any questions about classes, the city or even outside travel.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment was overpriced, and the furnishings we expected were sub par. Most things were broken. The location was on a far-away street that was not in the safest part of town.

* Food:

Polish food is delicious, I was able to experience a lot of different kinds on my own and through dinners hosted by the program.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By living in an apartment in the city, we were forced from the start to adapt to local culture to get through day to day necessities. Though all of the students in the program were American, we were able to see Polish life everywhere we went.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues to deal with, but my program-mate visited the doctor a few times and it went well.

* Safety:

The city is very safe, I did not feel threatened at all even walking alone at night. There are, of course, some drunk homeless people and one needs to be cautious at all times, but I never felt like my life was in danger.

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)

I chose a country that is not in the Euro and has a good exchange rate in comparison to the US Dollar, so it was very manageable for me.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200 or less
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? Get a program to learn some phrases before you arrive. When you get to the country, use the language everywhere you go (even if you make tons of mistakes!) and repeat what others say to internalize the vocabulary.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Classes and language instruction
  • The city and its history
  • Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Housing!!!
  • More encouragement to use the language
  • More practical "city tour" (not just historical things, but locations of grocery stores, etc)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Who I am and what I can do.