If you are going to struggle, you might as well struggle in Europe July 20, 2018

By (Berea College) - abroad from 01/08/2018 to 05/11/2018 with

CIEE: Rome - Open Campus

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became more comfortable with myself when it comes to being independent and I met people and learned things that you can not learn from textbooks or TV shows

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academics in the countries I studied in were very intense and had a lot to do with the country I was studying in, however, I wish there were more classes that got us out and about in the city to learn.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

In London the complex was very cramped and did not offer a lot but the Madrid and Rome housing situations were amazing.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Some of the countries did not try to have us meet buddies from the country -- like London or Rome- but Madrid was very good about integrating us with people form the area.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Only giving all stars because I did not need to use the healthcare there but hearing from others, with the ISIC and Inext card, they were able to seek the treatments they needed

* Safety:

I always felt safe

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

I would choose the same program but set up different countries I go to. I would choose Madrid, Paris, Rome. London was very expensive and felt just like the United States

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 was able to live off the amount given to me and when i needed more Berea College was able to provide that for me

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? break down how much money you want to spend a week and stick to it!

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

Some programs took us to coffee shops to help guide us through talking in the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I completed one Berea college Spanish 101 class but had proior knowledge before college
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? Use duolingo to help you in the beginning and try when you get to the country. You may be embarrassed at first but practice makes perfect.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Homestay
  • classes that took you out into the city
  • being able to travel to different areas
* What could be improved?
  • Integration with the local community
  • integration from the US when we get to our country of study
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do not go into your study experience with any expectations because when you get there it could be completely different. Stay adaptable and always be prepared to take surprise trips.

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.'