A Dream Fulfilled, Ignites the Spark of Another Past Review

By (Berea College) - abroad from 06/03/2017 to 07/29/2017 with

CEA: Alicante, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
An opportunity to live independently for a period of time. So many opportunities to use Spanish. Finally, a perspective of another country.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Quite intense and rigorous, but very manageable. Classes were engaging and enjoyable. Adjusting to Spanish life is a challenge but well worth it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program staff were always excellent in being available and for organizing meaningful experiences around the city. I appreciated their attempting to share some knowledge about this place we have come to.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Having an apartment in the midst of the center of the city has been an awesome experience. Never have I had this much autonomy, something for which I am grateful to the program. Even with all the quirks of Spanish living spaces, it quickly felt like a new home

* Food:

Probably one of the best aspects of the trip. Especially good was being able to buy and prepare our own food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Knowing more advanced Spanish, it was easier to try to engage local people in a more meaningful way. Spain has an insane social scene, but I found myself enjoying the quiet mornings

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were no problems.

* Safety:

Never felt unsafe, and always felt like I could handle a situation

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

I would choose CEA again but I would hope that they make some effort to attract more advanced-level students in their groups of students. I also love Alicante


* 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)

For me, it was easy to budget food and personal expenses, and i lived comfortably on what I was given.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take advantage of food deals that occur on certain days of the week. Properly plan your meals so that there is never any waste (and therefore wasted money)


* 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 was that the other students in the program were at beginner levels, so among the others in the program there was limited knowledge of Spanish, and the program staff had to accommodate that.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? 315
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? Get away from the Americans and meet people who speak limited or no English. Find Spaniard friends, and also texting in Spanish was helpful so try to meet people you could continue talking to

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
  • International Students
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?
  • Food
  • Location Itself
  • People
* What could be improved?
  • More Advanced Speakers
  • n/a
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that I was not able to depend on the other students in the program itself for Spanish practice, and that I would have to seek it out elsewhere.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.