An incredible experience I will never forget! Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Fairfield University) - abroad from 08/25/2014 to 12/19/2014 with

Fairfield University: Madrid - Semester or Year in Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was amazing and I would definitely do it again! While I'm not sure I would use the same program, to be immersed so fully in the culture was an incredible, life changing experience!!! I learned so much about Spanish culture and language! Definitely worthwhile! I recommend study abroad to everyone!!!

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.

For months I had no work, then suddenly, our finals were worth half of our overall grade. That makes no sense and it made everyone extremely nervous!!!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mother should not be a host mother. She is cold and unwelcoming, I would advise for her not to be used in the future.

* 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? No


* 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? Depending on the week around 200 dollars.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at the cafeteria on campus as much as possible, as well as eating with your host family. Go to Il Rastro to buy gifts cheap too!!!


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 221
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? Speak it as much as possible! And watch the news in Spanish, that helped me! I also always made sure to ask a lot of questions on how to say things.

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

  • 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?
  • Learning Spanish
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Learning about a new culture
* What could be improved?
  • The grading system
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Less interference from the home university
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That there wouldn't be as many spanish classes offered, I would have taken more at my home university before going to prepare myself. (Instead, I took more general education classes and classes for my major to leave room to finish my Spanish minor.) Apartments in Madrid aren't that expensive either!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!