Go for it, don't hold back Past Review

By (Human Services, General., Western Washington University) - abroad from 09/12/2013 to 12/18/2013 with

CEA: Madrid, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about the culture, language and history. I gained a lot of friends during the trip that I know will be life long friendships. It was worth every penny and I'd recommend to anyone who is deciding whether to study abroad or not to just do it. I promise it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.

Review Photos

CEA: Madrid, Spain Photo CEA: Madrid, Spain Photo CEA: Madrid, Spain Photo CEA: Madrid, Spain Photo CEA: Madrid, Spain Photo

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Amazing administration, very helpful and made you feel at home.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Love doing the home-stay, my host family was beyond amazing and I'm so grateful to have had that experience and would recommend to anyone who has the chance.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe city, just high on people who pickpocket. So keep belongings at home and just be aware of your bag at all times

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)

Madrid was very expensive. Most places in Europe I found were just overall more expensive with the exchange rate. I spent twice as much as I was planning on spending and never even went shopping or anything. Just very expensive to live.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I lived in a home stay which I paid for extra. But on top of that about $80 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Things add up quickly. You may not think you're spending a lot of money at that time, but over the weeks it adds up! Just try to budget and only pull out how much money you're trying to spend that week.


* 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? Beginner
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? B1
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? Don't be around Americans, or try to as little as possible. Or talk to each other in the foreign language.

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?
  • The amazing staff.
  • Felt like family. Didn't feel homesick.
  • Very helpful with anything.
* What could be improved?
  • Offering of more scholarships or aid
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I packed pretty light compared to others, but honestly, still pack light! Especially if you are planning to travel around after. Makes everything easier. Practice the language as much as you can before. Don't expect anything and just go with an open mind. Bring a lot of books. Prepare for all types of weather!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'