Madrid: DO IT. Past Review

By (Global Studies, Providence College) for

CIEE: Madrid - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
To be honest, Spain was much less academically rewarding and more rewarding in a personal sense- I learned about my strengths, weaknesses, came to terms with things that I need to work on, pushed myself, and changed my way of thinking to adapt to local culture.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Carlos III
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.

I enjoyed the sociology class that I took directly at Universidad Carlos III the most; more was expected of me, but I also learned the most. The classes attended by primarily American students felt too altered, like I wasn't getting the real Spanish university experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Strengths: the employees. Each one was dedicated to us having a great experience and taking something meaningful from the program. The size of the group was also great- about 16, I believe. It was hard to adjust to the university at first, but we eventually got the hang of it through trial and error, mostly. Great experience, expectations met.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Close to nightlife, arts districts, and fun cafes. Loved my location and host mom.

* Food:

There weren't too many fresh fruits and vegetables in my diet, but I never went hungry. I recommend finding new places to go out to eat with friends- don't just go to Cien Montaditos every time! There are lots of great vegetarian restaurants, as well.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I love to dance, so I was all over the discoteca scene. You have to go to a flamenco show, of course, and make a point to visit the Caixa Forum, Casa Encendida, and the creative community co-op La Tabacalera.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Super safe, but still be vigilant. Only one instance of robbery on my whole trip. Luckily, I never got seriously ill, so I'm not sure how the health system works within the program!

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to be social, be prepared to spend money. Unfortunately, it's largely unavoidable. All social activities are done en la calle, most of which require money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

We had optional language mixers with Spanish students to practice our Spanish while they practiced their English.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The social elements
* What could be improved?
  • The coursework- limited selection for my interests