Amazing Experience in Salamanca! Past Review

By (Architecture, GAP Year Students) for

API (Academic Programs International): Salamanca - Gap Year Spanish Language and Culture Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
After this experience I see that there are many differences between our culture and how others lived. It open my eyes to the way people live in different countries, and I guess you could say I've caught the "travel bug". I feel my Spanish has improved greatly, it was so worth it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The schooling was great. At the beginning we were tested based on our Spanish abilities and were then placed into classes based on our previous knowledge. All of our instructors knew what they were teaching and really strived to help us understand what they were teaching

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was an on site API office that had free wi-fi and different books in Spanish, as well as on-site administrators that would help us if we had any problems. The leaders they had with us were extremelly nice and very knowledgable about the historical landmarks and just the overall city. Upon arriving in Spain, we had a few days to just kind of adjust along with orientation meetings to just help us adapt and know what to expect. The size of the group was perfect; it wasn't too big, but it wasn't too small. I wasn't really sure what to expect going over there, but when it was time to come home, I was more than impressed with the whole experience, I didn't want to leave!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutley LOVED my host family! They were so nice and really went out of their way to make my stay enjoyable. They treated me like their own family. I never once questioned my saftey with them or the neighborhood we were living in. We were about a 10-15 minute walk from the Plaza Mayor, which is basically where everything happens. This is the "center" of the city, and there are tons of stores and restaraunts in the surrounding area. My family provided me with everything I needed: towels, meals for when we were traveling, sheets, etc. I would highly recomend staying with a host family, because for me, they made my experience 10 times better.

* Food:

The food was fantastic, the tapas were just as amazing. They do have a very different diet than we do here, however, it was fabulous. The quality and quantity of food was fantastic, and you could easily over eat if you didn't watch what you were doing. I would recommend to a future student to just walk around the Plaza and on the side streets. Go into all the little restaraunts and tapas bars and just try anything that sounds good, you will not regret it. Even if you don't like whatever you tried, you'll be glad you did it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We did many different cultural activites that helped understand the local culture, as well as just different activites that were so much fun and helped us see the city. Every weekend we traveled to a different city other than Salamanca, where we participated in an activity that applied to the local culture. For example, we took cooking lessons to learn how to make meals that are specific to Spain, we took salsa lessons to attempt to learn to dance, and when traveling to the norther coast we had surfing lessons.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

There is a hospital very close to the Plaza in case anyone should ever need it, and overall the city is extremelly safe. My host parents said they can't remember the last time something bad happened in the city, and they have lived there for pretty much their whole lives.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

We had a leader that is a Spanish citizen, and she realy encouraged us to speak Spanish with her or with each other. Also, the locals don't really know English, so it was a great way to practice because it was really the only way to communicate.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Leaders
  • Host Family
  • Locals and Nightlife
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing