Glad I went through with the program January 30, 2023

By (Business Spanish, Oklahoma City University) - abroad from 12/18/2022 to 01/14/2023 with

Arcos Learning Abroad in Granada, Spain (iNMSOL)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worth while. I learned that my opportunities do not stop in the U.S., but that I could move to any Spanish-speaking country in the world; and I have more faith in myself to learn yet another language because I know generally what to expect in the path to fluency or conversational ability.

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.

The rigor was enough to be exciting and interesting without leaving me feeling tired of studying or like I didn't have time to spend with my friends. The exams were challenging, but I had time to study and learn what I needed to.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Javi was inviting and attentive.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Host family was positive and accommodating. Just one comment: I wish there were more hangers in the closet I had, maybe four more. There was just a lot of space to hang things, but not enough supplies to do so.

* Food:

The gluten free bread they bought me was better than the bread I get in the U.S., so big thumbs up. Also, Antonia and her son Antonio are pro chefs, so that made for some good meals.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I got chances to speak with natives while I went shopping, but overall it was difficult to find opportunities to speak with people besides my professors. I think I would have felt more integrated in a longer-term session, especially if I had gone to UGranada and spoken to other students (I realized I love speaking with peers when I visited my friends in Sevilla).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any need to experience the healthcare system while in Spain. I did appreciate, however, that our directors gave us the Spanish emergency number and the hospital's phone number as well.

* Safety:

Every city center makes me want to keep my guard up, but to me Granada seemed safe to walk around during basically all hours of the day and most hours of the night. There were always people out.

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

ARCOS created a very good experience. Could there possibly be exercises designed specifically to train our ears to the velocity of Spanish in Spain? I felt just a bit sheltered in school, and when I went into the streets, some conversations were hindered because of the speaking speed of my interlocutor.


* 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 was in luck to have arrived during the "rebajas" after Christmas, so I was able to save quite a bit of money. The food was cheaper than at home and accessible. My friends and I kept saying to each other that we could have gone the entire 4 weeks without spending any money since all of our meals were cooked at home.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? around $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to save money in Spain, spend time there after January 6th so you can take advantage of the big discounts after Three Kings Day. Also, one thing I didn't know was that a lot (not all, but a lot) of the items on sale during the discount season will have a certain price on them, but when you pay at the register, you are charged below that price. So, it is worth asking at the register how much something actually costs just to be sure you don't miss out on anything you really want to purchase thinking it is more expensive.


* 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 the time. I wish we could have used Spanish more during our outings, but I realize that all of the different levels of Spanish in our group needed to be able to understand what the guide was saying. I enjoyed it when the guides would tell me "let's speak in Spanish now" and encourage me to articulate my thoughts without English for a period of our outing.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Conversational Spanish
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? My favorite thing to do was take my phone to each meal and look up words as we had our conversations. This is like another method of study and immediate implementation. Also, I used a word document to keep track of all the new vocabulary I learned in my class so I could use it for active recall during a daily review.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People working in the program were kind.
  • People were knowledgeable.
  • People were great conversationalists.
* What could be improved?
  • Excercises to increase our listening ability or how to improvise and respond even if we did not understand everything that was said to us.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The tip I mentioned about the discounts not being as expensive as the pricetag says. Be respectful to everyone, but also treat everyone like a friend. Buy train tickets as much in advance as possible, and look for trains that leave on Fridays, so you can save money.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

EspaƱol de los negocios

Course Department:
Instructor: Juan Luis
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: There were no field trips tailored specifically to the Business Spanish class. The professor was well prepared and knowledgeable to teach. I participated at least just as much as I would have at my U.S. school, if not more.
Credit Transfer Issues: I was told that I would be getting credit for the course in Granada, although I have not yet checked my transcript to verify that the credit has been transferred.