Self-reflective Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., University of the Pacific) - abroad from 01/07/2013 to 06/28/2013 with

CIEE: Sao Paulo - Liberal Arts

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was mainly about self-reflection for me. I learned a lot about what i need to improve, political views, filosophical views. I learned that i need to be more critical about certain things. Students im Brazil seem to be more opinionated and critical of global issues more so that most of the american students i've met at my university.

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.

Some classes were difficult, but personally I found trying to understand the language to be the toughest thing.

* 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?

I felt integrated, and the people were very friendly, but at the same time it was difficult to make close friends with the locals.

* 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


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do not go out every night like most people abroad do, especially if you are on a tight budget. Prioritize the things you need.


* 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? Beginner
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? Upper division Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I encourage people to just talk to the locals. Do not be afraid if your language skills are not so good at first, you will get better. Locals like when foreigners try to speak their language, its flattering.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The staff was amazing
  • The people are friendly
  • The portuguese professors are great!
* What could be improved?
  • Making sure the families keep cooking different meals. Eating the same thing can get old.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it was going to be cold! It was mostly hot, and out of nowhere it changed.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.