Salamanca: The Best Place to Study Spanish! Past Review

By (Spanish/History, Western Washington University) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much from my time abroad. I had the time of my life and enjoyed my whole time. I was able to explore Europe while making lasting friendships with people from all over America and the world. The people I spent my time abroad with have become my best friends. If you are majoring or minoring in Spanish I would highly recommend spending time abroad. Even if you aren't studying a language, time abroad is an amazing experience!

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Salamanca: Cursos Internationales
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was well balanced. The grading system was different but it was easy to figure out and the teachers did a good job of explaining it. The classroom setting wasn't too different except for the fact that your fellow students are from all over the world and the class is all in Spanish. The teaching methods and class presentation was not that different. I had no problem adjusting to the educational system.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site directors were amazing! They were willing to help you with anything and were nonjudgemental. I felt I could go to them for anything. There were 2 on-site directors and around 25 students. The program size was very manageable and they knew everyone on a first name basis and truly cared about you. There were other programs in the same city, one with over 100 students, and I am glad that I chose API because of the size and the support they offered. The directors were full of useful information and were even willing to help you with your homework!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with a host family was an amazing experience. They provided everything I needed, except toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.). They washed my clothes whenever I needed them to be, provided all meals, and truly accepted me into the family. They said I am able to come back and visit whenever I want and that I can even stay there. I had my own room and had internet. The apartment was located in a safe neighborhood just blocks away from the university and within walking distance from everything in town. The family was not strict about when I came and went, just as long as I was home for meals or let them know in advance if I was going to miss a meal.

* Food:

The food was amazing! It was all fresh and home cooked! They took into consideration my likes and dislikes and were always asking me what i wanted to eat. There was always more food on my plate than I could eat, but that was just because my host family wanted to make sure I was eating enough. On my birthday they made everything that I asked for and even had a special dessert for me! I would recommend going out to eat once in awhile despite the fact that the home cooking is so good. Going out for tapas is a great way to experience the Spanish culture and to try new foods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

API provided amazing cultural activities and field trips! I went to Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Segovia, Toledo, and was able to take a tour and go wine tasting at a local bodega, and they even took us out for free tapas during the "ferias" or town celebrations. The hotels were some of the best and were always in a great location. Even while we were in Salamanca they took us to museums, movies, and always kept us updated on what was going on in the town.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt safe in Salamanaca. The only real problem was pickpockets because the city was full of international students and tourists. Just be aware of where your belongings are and always keep them close to you. I was lucky because I never got injured or sick during my time abroad. I only had a minor cold and my host family provided me with cough drops and medicine when i needed it. The people who worked in the pharmacies were helpful. I went in to buy contact solution. There were no real safety issues or health concerns in Salamanca.

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
Language acquisition improvement?

I signed up for an intercambio, or a native Spanish speaker looking for a native English speaker, so i could not only practice my Spanish but help someone else with their English. There was usually someone who understood or spoke a little bit of English, this was very true in the large cities I visited. Living with a host family, I had to use Spanish everyday. Even if you do not think your language level is good enough, just try speaking or practicing. Trust me, your speaking and comprehension levels will go way up!

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

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?
  • On-site directors
  • Excursions/activities
  • Host family
* What could be improved?
  • Office hours on Fridays
  • post-study abroad check up
  • More information on possible day trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be afraid of new experiences. The on-site directors are non-judgmental and are willing to help with you with anything. If you are willing to try new things and want to have the time of your life while learning, API:Salamanca is the program for you. The program is a manageable size and you are always treated with respect by everyone involved.