I wish I could go back to Madrid! September 05, 2018

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/16/2017 to 06/02/2018 with

CIEE: Madrid - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was able to work on my academic Spanish as well as learn what its like to live in a European city.

Personal Information

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* 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:

Madrid is infamous for pick pocketing. Always make sure to keep your purse/wallet/phone close by.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The staff was extremely supportive and my host family was incredible. I felt like part of the family!

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)

1 but that's because I traveled a lot around Europe.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably 200 euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at home as much as you can!

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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? A Latin American Literature course.
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? Make a point to be extra friendly with people who work service type jobs, so for example, ask your waiter/barista how their day is going. It can spark a lengthy conversation and it's good practice!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 CIEE staff
  • My host family
  • The balance between classes with Americans and Spanish students
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more of how the university/academic/grading system was in Spain compared to the USA.