The best 2.5 months of my life- even with a COVID interference! November 09, 2020

By (University of Dayton) - abroad from 01/03/2020 to 03/13/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much independence, cultural competency, language abilities, and personal skills. Most of all, I had the time to really learn about myself, who I am as a person and who I want to become. I grew exponentially.

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.

In Salamanca, the International students take classes in their own buildings generally. This is helpful because the professors understand where you are coming from. My classes were not extremely rigorous; however, I learned an exponential amount. My Spanish improved greatly and the professors are so welcoming, thoughtful and personable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The API staff in Salamanca are simply the best. Miguel and Inma work very closely with you and will be there for any issue, question or concern you may have. I had to go to the doctors at one point during my time abroad, and Miguel went with me and supported me through the whole process.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The location of my housing was very close to the city center and Plaza Mayor. Also, Salamanca is a very safe city. I never felt unsafe walking alone no matter the time of day or night.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

After reflecting on my experience, how integrated one is with the culture in Salamanca is totally up to how much they want to integrate into the culture. Most of the locals do not speak English, and the university students are super welcoming; however, if one wants to stick to their friends from their program, that is an option as well. Either way, you will definitely learn so much about the Spanish language and culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctors at one point, and the process was quite easy, especially since my resident director, Miguel, was with me every step of the way. In addition, pharmacies are on every corner in Salamanca, so you can access medicine easily.

* Safety:

I never expected to feel as safe as I did in Salamanca. In fact, I felt way more safe there than I do at my American university in Dayton, Ohio. As always, be aware of your surroundings, but I think the biggest safety concern in Salamanca is pick pocketing, and that is even super uncommon in Salamanca.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

API Salamanca exceeded my expectations.


* 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)

Your host family will cook for you 3 meals a day in Salamanca with API, so that is not an expense you choose to go out. Most food/drinks/activities are very cheap. The shopping is amazing though, so a lot of my money went to that :)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 30-50 Euros


* 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? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate- 300 level in college
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? Do not feel ashamed to mess up!

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
  • 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?
  • Salamanca, the city, in general
  • The lack of English (allowed me to be immersed in Spanish)
  • The Spanish lifestyle
* What could be improved?
  • Proximity to an airport:) However, I know that is not feasible
  • My host mom having texting abilities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You WILL make friends!!! Too many to count.