IES Abroad was the best choice for me September 01, 2022

By (Biochemistry, Villanova University) - abroad from 01/31/2022 to 05/27/2022 with

IES Abroad: Madrid - IES Abroad in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
From the independence I gained while studying abroad, I learned so much about myself and the way I fit into the world. I came to learn what empowers me and what I value/lean on in the midst of change. Going abroad was a huge period of consistent adjustment and readjustment. As stressful as this sometimes was at first, I am so much more flexible in the way I live my life, and my life is easier. I became so much more confident in using my Spanish, and I have a deeper understanding and love for the culture. I found a second home in Madrid.

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.

* 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?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I became sick while abroad and a physician came to my apartment that day and helped me.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I had other friends in other programs in Madrid. Their housing wasn't as nice, and their academic support wasn't as strong. IES was amazing.


* 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 think that it is possible to live on a students budget. I shopped, traveled, and ate dinner out a lot. I spent about 9,000USD (excluding food) during the entire semester. I traveled to 13 different countries.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead. Especially for side travel.


* 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? Conversation and Composition
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Field Trips
  • Housing
  • Academic Support
* What could be improved?
  • Communication
  • Organization
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Packing is so important. I had to throw away so many things before coming home in addition to buying a new piece of luggage. I would tell pre-abroad me to pack light! If you can buy it abroad, don't pack it!

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.