A truly life-chaning journey Past Review

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 01/16/2017 to 05/19/2017 with

API (Academic Programs International): Madrid - Suffolk University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained and learned an unimaginable amount of knowledge that will guide me through life and change my perspective on the world forever. I wouldnt change this experience or take it away in the slightest. I am so grateful I have been able to go on this journey and become a completely different person because of it.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Maria and Quique were absolutely wonderful while helping us adapt to life in our new home for the next 6 months. They were always available for any questions we had and guided us through every step.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mother Dolores was amazing. She was the sweetest old lady and treated me like family. My room was cleaned once a week and she did my laundry for me once a week.I was able to make my room feel like home.

* Food:

Dolores made very hefty portions and always made sure I did not leave the house hungry. She was considerate of my eating habits but gave me a true Spanish cuisine experience.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Due to the fact I stayed with a host family, I felt much more integrated versus my other friends who stayed in apartments or residencias. I was able to immerse myself fully into the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a couple friends who needed to make doctors appointments while they were staying abroad. Our program directors were very helpful with making appointments for us. I did not need any specific vaccines in order to visit Spain.

* Safety:

As a young woman, a larger European city is much more dangerous. Often I was scared walking home the streets at night and always kept pepper spray in my purse. I have had to take longer walks home in order to avoid creepy men or have had to walk into different buildings in order to lose someone that was following me. It is easy to become a target as I was often alone travelling or walking back from classes/nights out but if you are smart and cautious of what you do then you have a better chance. I would also like to add that date rape is a prevalent thing in the nightclub scene and I have three friends while studying abroad become victims of this horrific violence. It is a problem and needs to be addressed from every angle

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would love to go back to Spain and improve my language but I also would like to travel the world and gain more opportunities to experience different cultures.


* 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)

budgeting was the hardest part about studying abroad...

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET. DO NOT GO OUT TO EAT IF YOU DO NOT HAVE MONEYYYY.


* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 3
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? speak it all the time. the only way you will learnt he language and retain it is if you actually speak it in conversation.

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

  • 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?
  • improving language skills
  • the people i met
  • the cultures i experienced
* What could be improved?
  • more out of country trips
  • better residencias
  • more diverse housing options
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how to budget wisely

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'