Taught me a lot about myself. Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/21/2012 to 05/16/2012 with

CIEE: Madrid - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot of independence, and I learned how to take the positive from every experience.

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.

I thought that the classes were relatively easy in terms of content, but were very beneficial in helping with language skills.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I thought that some of the administrators had very poor people-skills, and I did not feel very comfortable sharing information with them and looking to them for advice/help. I also found the program very unorganized, and didn't feel that they were spending money in the right place. They was a general lack of communication between students, administrators, and hosts throughout the semester.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was extremely unhappy with my first housing situation, and couldn't understand why that person was part of the study abroad program. My host was very rude and spent little to no time with me. When I requested to move, I couldn't have been happier with my housing situation. I was put with a wonderful family with two kids and it really made my experience. It bothered me to know that the family I was with was not given a student to host, and only received me because I requested to be moved.

* Food:

This is a similar situation to my housing. The first person would not buy me things that I wanted, and it was often very hard to find food to eat in the house. My second host however, was an excellent cook and we always had large family dinners together.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was violently ill very early on in the semester. I was left completely on my own by my host, who offered no help. The administrators were very rude to me, and scolded me for not being at orientation, when I could barely get myself out of bed to go to the bathroom.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan your traveling trips early, and buy your tickets early. Limit eating out at restaurants and take advantage of free activities.

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? HISP 106
How many hours per day did you use the 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

  • 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?
  • My host family
  • Living in the city
* What could be improved?
  • Administration
  • Organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to plan my trips more in advance. I also wish I knew how specific you had to be in your housing questionnaire.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.