Fun and Long Past Review

By (Trinity University) - abroad from 01/06/2016 to 05/06/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a better understanding of true Spanish culture and a greater appreciation of the versatility of the Spanish language.

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.

The Spanish educational system is nothing like the US. Office hours, help sessions by the professor, tutors are not that common, if they exist at all. Educational resources were not very accessible/helpful for this program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were present but not helpful. The only time they were truly helpful with solving/addressing any of my concerns or problems is when I wanted to switch home stays.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

With my first home stay, I was housed with 4 other students and the couple owned a residencia upstairs as well. I didn't like that there was not a limit on the number of students a host family could have because 4 (5 including myself) was too many and uncomfortable. The couple was obviously just doing this for the money, not to get to know the students they were living with. When I moved to my second host family, they were absolutely amazing, sweet, interactive and kind.

* Food:

I LOOOOOVE the food! I definitely gained about 10 pounds from my study abroad experience. You must try and fall in love with tortilla! What I didn't like is that their ham is different. I don't like jamon.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I completed the Hispanic Studies Program with API. It was definitely more challenging (more homework, exams, etc.) to complete than the Language and Culture program that most students were in. I love Salamanca, but I would do it again with a different program provider. From talking to other American students that were with ISA and IES, they seem to have more resources (peer mentors, tutoring assistance) and speak Spanish more (everything we did was in English vs. ISA had tours and always communicated with their students in Spanish).


* 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 absolutely loved Salamanca because this small city spoiled us with its cheap and reasonable prices at most places.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No matter what program you choose nor where you decide to go, you hopefully be traveling to other countries, which is hard to do on a $100 budget.


* 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? Advanced Grammar
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? Don't hang out with other American students or you'll speak English. Have as many native friends from that country as your primary friends.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Organized trip to London
* What could be improved?
  • The directors could speak to us more in Spanish.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Study abroad at the end of your Spanish major/minor instead of the beginning. You'll grasp more and be more comfortable.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!