N/A Past Review

By (Spanish Language and Literature., Illinois State University) for

CEA: Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I wouldn't change this experience for anything in the world. I got to see the world, truly immerse myself in Spanish culture to the point where I felt as though I were Spanish myself, made so many friends, improved my Spanish skills immensely, and gained loads of confidence. The last two days of the semester were incredibly difficult; know that I would soon have to leave all the behind was one of the hardest realizations I have ever come to but I will forever cherish those 4 months of my life.

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.

N/A

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My program directors were absolutely amazing. They were very knowledgeable and always ready to help us at the drop of a hat; they were very patient and understanding no matter what we needed. There were lots of fun trips and activities to do with the group, which I highly recommend as they were great bonding experiences for all of us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My roommates and I are convinced that we had the very best host mother there is. Carmen treated us like her own daughters: everything was provided and cleaned for us, she cooked all our meals, and there was always something to drink or snack on if we wanted. She was very understanding if there was a food she made that we didn't like and she was very accommodating to my vegetarian diet. She was helpful and encouraging about our Spanish acquisition and we had lots of great conversations in which she explained things to us about Spanish culture, things we saw on tv, etc. She also always had lots of recommendations for trips, bars, restaurants, and places to site see.

* Food:

I am a vegetarian and I had no problems in my home stay with that, as my host mother was very accommodating. As far as going out to eat, you just need to be proactive and ask the staff if they have vegetarian options. If they didn't, they were generally very happy to make something special for me. The best way to find places to eat is just to explore the city, be adventurous, and never go to the same place twice!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Every one of the trips arranged by my program (to Sevilla and Cordoba, the Alpujarras, etc) were so much fun and such a great bonding experience. I wouldn't change anything about it. My suggestion is simply to go on those trips. Don't miss out!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt quite safe while abroad but I attribute that to being aware of my surroundings and familiar with possible situations that could occur if I was not paying attention. Just be smart--don't go anywhere with people you don't know, make sure your friends always know where you are, etc.

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

Finances

* 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? I probably spent roughly around $4000 in total throughout the course of the semester.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? N/A

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200 level
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I spoke Spanish every day with my host mother, who did not speak any English, as well as with many of her friends and family members. Speaking Spanish was pretty much a given where ever you went, whether it was a bar or a department store. But of course you have your American classmates and friends to speak English with which can be a nice break occasionally.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Everything!
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? N/A