Best year of my life Past Review

By (University of Tennessee - Knoxville) - abroad from 09/25/2017 to 05/21/2018 with

CEA: Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I can speak, read, and write more fluently in Spanish than I ever would have been able to at home. I'm more confident and independent, and I've made amazing friendships.

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.

Classes were well taught, teachers were very enthusiastic about their subject matters. By far the most helpful and well taught grammar classes I've ever taken.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Begoña and Jorge... there are no words to describe how incredibly kind and supportive and helpful these directors are!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family helped with my speaking without ever making me feel dumb for mistakes. They would take the time to explain why things are phrased certain ways and the grammar rules that I didn't know. Very supportive, kind, funny family that was truly like my own family by the end of the year.

* Food:

My homestay mom, Mariangeles, is a miracle worker. Her food is incredible, and she even taught me some of her recipes! Very healthy and well-rounded meals, with lots of fresh fruit, veggies, meats, whole grains, and a huge variety of dishes.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Going out at night never felt dangerous, especially as night life is such a big thing in Granada. There are usually people out at all hours.

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)

I budgeted $60 (around 50 Euros) per week and normally was fine. Occasional expenses popped up, but usually I was well within that budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-60

Language

* 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? 300-level Spanish course
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Watch movies/shows on Netflix with the Spanish audio and subtitles on.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Classes
  • Homestay family
  • Program trips
* What could be improved?
  • More info from the beginning on housing options
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The hardest part of doing a year abroad is not the beginning. The hardest part is watching everyone else leave in December and knowing you have to make all new friends the next semester.

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!