If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program?
In reflecting in my time in Spain, I can think mostly of positive memories. IES was very organized and helped me throughout my entire pre departure process. I did not apply for a visa through IES, and when I ran into bumps the staff was very helpful in solving the problem.
Once I arrived, it did not take me long to feel at home. I had the most wonderful host family, and the staff helped us get acclimated. The weekend excursions, and extracurriculars that I participated in were especially fun and marked my experience. I would recommend getting involved in all the activities that IES offers such as cooking classes, dance lessons, and exchange groups where you meet with Spanish students.
As for the classes, I enjoyed some of them and some were fairly bland. I did expect this and overall did not feel like I was wasting my time despite the course load because it helped me improve my Spanish. I would recommend taking the Art History class at the Prado it was an unforgettable experience.
My living situation was amazing, the food was amazing, and the people on the program were amazing. My only complaint would be the Spanish speaking throughout. I felt that it was not the easiest to connect with Spaniards organically, you had to search for opportunities such as going to intercambio bars. Overall it was a semester I will never forget and I would highly recommend this program and studying abroad.