Embracing the Madrileño Lifestyle July 05, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/15/2018 to 06/02/2018 with

CIEE: Madrid - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much from my semester in Madrid, and studying abroad was definitely one of the best decisions I made for my college career. I improved my Spanish both conversationally and academically, made great friends I'll keep in touch with back in the US, and pushed myself to try new things and get out of my comfort zone. I fell in love with the lifestyle in Madrid - more laid back than in the US, but also more vibrant.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I liked the classes I took at the Spanish university, but found academics easier than at Brandeis, and that academic expectations (syllabus, assignments, etc.) are not as clearly organized.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site staff in Madrid were fantastic and always ready to help us with any problem, or get to know us when we were in the office.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had an apartment with other students in the center of Madrid, which was perfect.

* 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:

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep track of your budget carefully. But also don't avoid taking trips/experiencing abroad because you're over-worried about money; you only have one chance to be there.

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
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Interact with other students/people your age - it's one thing to talk to professors and program staff, but it's way more helpful in learning the language by talking to your peers.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Other
* 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?
  • Madrid culture
  • People I met
  • Traveling
* What could be improved?
  • Going to a university closer to Madrid's center
  • Better integration with the other study abroad students
  • Better WiFi in the program office
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I made amazing, lasting friendships, and so I shouldn't be so nervous about meeting new people and just being myself. Also, it's ok not to become super close with your roommates.