I left very sheltered but came back more independent and self-reliant. Past Review

By (Urban Studies, Trinity University) - abroad from 01/24/2015 to 05/08/2015 with

API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Universidad Pablo de Olavide

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be on my own, communicate in a foreign country effectively, take responsibility for my actions like when I missed a flight, and take care of myself by going to the doctor and speaking only in Spanish to them because no one else was going to do it for me. I learned that all things pass and get better with time, in March I was very homesick and cried a lot but once April rolled around I was having a great time, and I cried on my flight leaving to go home to the US. It was worthwhile getting out of my comfort zone of San Antonio where I had lived for 21 years and leaving my family and my boyfriend, even though it was terrifying.

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.

There wasn't a lot of coursework, but paying attention in 2 hour classes in Spanish everyday was difficult, especially when I had 3 classes in one day.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program directors were awesome.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay wasn't the best compared to other people in my program but my host family provided everything I needed, with no frills.

* Food:

The food was hit or miss, sometimes I felt like they could have spent a little more money on the food considering what I was paying.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Most people thought I was Spanish because of my last name and my dark hair, usually I could blend in.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I actually had a few health issues, I had a sinus infection the first week I got there. It was a little terrifying talking to the doctor only in Spanish (when my program booklet said they spoke English too) and I had to pick up my medication at the pharmacy. Medications were very cheap in Spain. I also had two eye infections and had to go to the eye doctor 3 times. I still have not been reimbursed by my program insurance and had to pay out of pocket for the eye doctor appointments.

* Safety:

Sevilla was fairly safe, I felt pretty safe walking home late at night after being out with my friends. I didn't have any issues with pickpocketing or anything like in the larger cities in Spain like Madrid.

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)

I spent about $100 a week, but other people spent way more and traveled every weekend. It was doable, but you have to sacrifice a bit and stay in town every weekend and only travel a couple of times.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80-100 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't spend it all in the beginning!! Budget your money for the week and take it out from the ATM in the beginning of the week.


* 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

All of my classes were in Spanish and my host family didn't speak English only Spanish. However my program did emphasize that it was kind of your own problem if you didn't want to learn, and it was up to you to make the effort to learn as much as you could.

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
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The paid excursions.
  • My Spanish professors at the University
* What could be improved?
  • The program could have ended a week after finals, not during finals.
  • It was stressful trying to pack and study the last week.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have saved more money so I could have traveled more. I also wish that I knew that my experience wouldn't be idyllic, and that I wouldn't become best friends with my roommates, and my host family wouldn't make me delicious Spanish food all the time because they couldn't really afford it.

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!