Unexpected, but Amazing experience August 14, 2018

By (Concordia University Nebraska) - abroad from 01/26/2018 to 05/11/2018 with

API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Universidad de Sevilla

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself, being independent, and how to adapt to a new culture. I learned a lot of Spanish, gained lifelong friends, and explored a new part of the world. This experience was definitely life-changing and worthwhile.

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.

It was an amazing experience where I got the opportunity to explore many new places, meet amazing people, and learn lots of Spanish! I only mark it down because of the class scheduling and intermixture with Spaniards.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They do a good job being there to help you. However, there are some things they were not able to help me much on (for example, trying to receive a package from the United States).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great family and awesome roommate!

* Food:

It was decent. I'm kind of a picky eater, and some of the food my host family made was not my favorite. Also, some days they would forget and just make hot dogs. Overall though, they always provided us with some sort of food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like there could have been more activities provided by the group or the university to integrate the study abroad students with Spanish students. It was difficult to have classes with Spanish students; therefore, it was very difficult to meet Spanish people our age. I was fortunate enough to meet people through a membership at a gym, which made my whole experience ten times better!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The group did a great job providing us information with healthcare and covering it financially. My host family was very caring and willing to help us with any problems.

* Safety:

I felt very safe no matter where I was walking. There was always a way to get home. I did have my phone stolen, as did a lot of my friends.

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

The people who work for API care much about the program and the students in the program. They provide the students with constant help, friendship, and accommodations. The program also offers students to go on many different educational and fun trips while practicing the language. They do a great job catering for all levels of using the language. Additionally, this program was the best-priced for what it offered.

Finances

* 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)

It all depends on how you decide to live there. If you go out a couple times a week and eat some extra snacks, you will easily spend $50-$100 euro a week. You also need to budget for extra costs if you want to take taxis or attend a gym.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-100 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Bring clothes that can go with everything and last through wear and tear. Budget yourself on what you allow yourself to spend every week.

Language

* 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

It was encouraged, but not mandatory.

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? Spanish 396 (or a 300 level Spanish course)
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? Make Spanish friends so you have to speak the language. Put yourself in experiences where you have to talk in Spanish (buy something from stores, listen to Spanish soaps with host family) Talk to your host family and the people in your program in Spanish (even if it is difficult) Change your phone to Spanish to practice. Only listen to Spanish music.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Trips
  • Speaking Spanish
* What could be improved?
  • Integrating students with natives
  • Scheduling Classes system
  • Mail process
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do NOT send any mail from the U.S. to Spain. It will never get there. You cannot be afraid to make the first step in making friends. If you do not do it, maybe no one will.

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!