Madrid Internship Program Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/11/2017 to 05/06/2017 with

Boston University: Madrid - Madrid Internship

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent, to push myself beyond my comfort zones, to figure out how to solve problems on my own, to ask for help if I needed it, to communicate better even despite the language barrier , to be more proactive. My semester abroad was very 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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although I enjoyed the homestay a lot, I felt there was still a lack of integration, because our classes only contained other Americans. It made it difficult for me to meet many natives my age.

* 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? Yes

I really enjoyed the program but there were times when I found the program to be lacking in what some other study abroad programs offer, and it's mostly the integration with local people that I wanted but didn't necessarily get from the program


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you have a homestay, try to take advantage of that because many homestays will provide many of the meals, which will significantly decrease the amount you spend. Also set a budget for a certain amount of time and keep track of your spendings to see if you are within 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? 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? 105
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? Although it's frightening in the beginning, you have to push yourself to speak the language as much as you can. That means speaking to your host family completely in their language, speaking to teachers in that language, and even be open to speaking to strangers. The more you put yourself out there and practice, the easier it is to improve.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Homestay
  • Classes
  • Internship
* What could be improved?
  • Integration into local culture
  • Contact with natives
  • More group activities/trips and bonding time
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that this program didn't have the normal week-long orientation other programs had and that we were mostly going to be surrounded by American students in our classes, because both of these were really important to me and I was slightly disappointed that I didn't have more chances to get closer to people in my program and that I didn't have much contact with local people (unless I went out of my way to seek 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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'