One of the best things I've done in my life! Past Review

By (Spanish Secondary Education, Brigham Young University) - abroad from 01/11/2013 to 04/09/2013 with

Brigham Young University: LDS Employment Services Spanish International Internship Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about South American cultures and I definitely gained skills with the language. It was definitely worth while. I was considering doing a study abroad in Spain, but had heard that most people just speak English with the other students they go with and never really interact with natives. This program definitely didn't give us the option to do that. There were only two of us that went and, although both of us are English speakers, we were always teaching in Spanish and talking to our neighbors as well as hanging out with friends we made down there. There were so many opportunities to practice that I felt way better about my Spanish skills by the time I left.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

This is a great program if you're looking to improve language and teaching skills! I definitely grew a lot in both of those aspects and had a great time while doing it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

They found us a great apartment and we each had our own bedrooms. It was one of the biggest apartments I've had as a college student.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The nature of the program definitely helped us do a lot of interacting with the locals. It was great.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We had a manager at our location that was there to help us with anything we needed during our stay. When we needed a doctor he was able to give us the phone number of an excellent doctor that came and did a diagnosis for free.

* Safety:

We didn't have any safety-related incidents and were well-informed of areas we should avoid in our host city. It was, overall, a pretty safe place, but we still knew that we needed to be careful about things.

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)

We had to start eating at places that were a little more expensive to ensure that the food preparation was sanitary, but the prices were still better than what we would pay in the United States so it was fairly easy to stay within our budgets.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I probably spent about $100-$150 per week including souvenirs.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? In our case, it was more cost efficient to go out to eat rather than go grocery shopping, especially since the store with the best (cleanest) food was a little more expensive than the markets. If you go to the markets you can probably save more. If not, just eat in restaurants and take leftovers for other meals.


* 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

We didn't really have any other option BUT 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? 329
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? Just dive into it and make sure you speak with as many native speakers as possible. Don't be shy about it just because you feel like you aren't where you should be with the language. The best way to learn is to put everything you've learned into practice.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Lower cost than most study abroad programs
  • Made lasting friendships in my host city.
  • Got to travel and see cool sites like Machu Picchu and the Amazon.
* What could be improved?
  • I have no complaints
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing. We were extremely well prepared for our experience.

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!