A Life Changing Trip to Spain Past Review

By (Psychology, Texas Lutheran University) - abroad from 07/01/2019 to 07/26/2019 with

IES Abroad: Salamanca Summer - Language & Culture (Session II)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think I drastically improved my spanish speaking abilities in a way I never expected. Being thrown into the culture and having to use the language every day really helps. Definitely worthwhile. I also really boosted my confidence in my independence. I had never flown or traveled by myself and I was scared to do it, but I got around by myself fine and now I know I'm capable!

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.

* 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?

* Safety:

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

While I loved my trip and had a really good time, I am someone who enjoys looking at nature and Spain was beautiful, but sightseeing there typically involves looking at architecture and beautiful buildings. However, there are still some more natural and outdoor types of things to do in Spain, so I would still recommend it. One problem with this program was that there wasn't a lot of free time to travel except over weekends.


* 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? Maybe $10-20, my host family provided most meals and food otherwise was very cheap
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Stay with a host family to get plenty of meals, don't buy souvenirs in your area until the end of your trip no matter how tempting it is, you'll wish you had waited. Instead buy stuff on the excursions you go on.


* 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

All classes, even at the beginner level, were taught in spanish

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 3 in high school and Spanish 1 in 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 the duolingo mode for travel, not just for learning spanish; look up phrases you use every day or often in english for basic needs and learn them in the language you'll be using

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Learning
* What could be improved?
  • Orientation
  • Travel method information
  • Time for travel
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Pack as light as possible, it's really hard to get around with a heavy suitcase as there are lots of stairs at the metro. Also, people dress nice in Spain but they do wear shorts. Just don't wear t-shirts or tank tops and you'll be okay

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.'