A semester full of new experiences and new places with many new friends. May 18, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/22/2019 to 06/05/2019 with

CIEE: Madrid - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
That I would prefer to live in Spain or somewhere in Europe, my family lives here now and I would rather be closer to them and I enjoy the culture more.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Courses without a lot of work until the finals, except for the language course through CEH at UC3M and the internship course through CIEE

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I would have preferred a Home-stay and an apartment that didn't have so many issues with the utilities/keys.

* Food:

Cooked for myself

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I met a lot of spaniards and spent a lot of time doing more local things and less touristy activities.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

THe insurance that CIEE requires is a little difficult because it makes you pay for the health expenses first and then you file a claim and then are reimbursed 2-5 weeks later.

* Safety:

Madrid is very safe.

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

The program wasn't great but the experience was.

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)

I saved a lot of money but would not have been able to only live on $100/week, but I also traveled a lot and went out a lot.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $250-$300
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? plan trips in advance to get good prices, find the cheapest grocery stores or markets, if going out to drink or bars look for deals

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

Encouraged all the time 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? Literature courses in the language 300 level courses at Wellesley
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? Branch out, spend less time with american/international students, don't be afraid to talk to new people.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Excursions
  • Free time
  • Spanish everything
* What could be improved?
  • Program staff
  • Assistance in an emergency
  • Living situations
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This time goes by really fast and you need to prioritize what you want out of it. You can't advance in the language and learn more about the culture and coloquial things without spending a lot of time with the natives/locals.

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.'