One of the best experiences in my life! Past Review

By (spanish and therapeutic recreation, Brigham Young University) - abroad from 04/23/2012 to 06/15/2012 with

Brigham Young University: Alcalá de Henares - Spain Study Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to connect with other cultures (spend time with them). I learned how to be flexible with cultural differences, I learned to love a country I knew little about, I learned to accept new things into my opinions and the way I think. It was VERY worthwhile. I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I could!

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de alcala-alcalingua
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It wasn't too rigorous, but I actually appreciated that because it gave me more time to have "hands-on" experiences, such as going to museums and spending more time learning the language talking to locals, etc...

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with an excellent family!! And the house was clean and orderly. I felt just at home, and nothing was made uncomfortable. The family was welcoming and kind

* Food:

I always had enough to eat, and enjoyed all of it. My host mom was a great cook!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish I would have signed up for a local class, like choir or dancing while i was there...but my program was really short and there was a lot going on

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got the flu while I was there. I wanted to just sleep it away, but my host family wanted me to go to the doctor. We went to the doctor that anyone can go to, and they treated me well and quickly. All things were taken care of, with no problems at all.

* Safety:

I always felt safe, and that is probably due to the fact that 90% of the time I was with my group or a buddy. Also, we weren't allowed to go into Madrid unless we had at least one other person, which I think was a smart idea.

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)

Easy! If you budget and only spend within budget it's easy. You could even live on less. But, the program covered a lot of the expense, so we're talking extra money here.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 euro (I got ice cream and did other fun things though)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Our program budgeted more money than it needed to cover all the costs, so we ended up getting a lot of money back. I would check with your advisor for this before transferring your funds from one currency to another, that saves money! Also, budget in how much you will spend before you leave, and you won't spend more!


* 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

The only problem is that we were with the group (from America) all the time and it was "easier" to just speak in English, so most people did. I wish we would have had more strict rules regarding that.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 339
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? Spend a lot of time with your host family and friends in the host country. They are kind, patient, and want to help you learn so are always the best to talk with and learn from!

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?
  • Getting to see so much of the country
  • My host family
* What could be improved?
  • I wish I had less travel time and more time to spend with my host family-but that was just due to the fact that my program was a short one.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I liked the length of the program (8 weeks) but it was really busy trying to see all that we saw, so I would definitely go longer in the future.