A Summer in Spain: How I Grew into My Confidence September 10, 2019

By (Birmingham-Southern College) - abroad from 06/03/2019 to 07/30/2019 with

Instituto Franklin-UAH: International Studies Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained confidence in myself and learned lots of new vocabulary along with better grammar. It was worthwhile as I accomplished everything I wanted to.

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.

Most of the general Spanish courses did not require more than an hour or two of studying, however, the medical program was rigorous and intensive and I loved it!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone in the administration was extremely helpful and answered any and all questions in a timely manner.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in a home without air conditioning was difficult as the third floor was incredibly stuffy and made it hard to breath. The dorms were extremely nice and the food wasn't bad.

* Food:

It was not very healthy and there was a lack of vegetables, I would go to the market and buy my own broccoli.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt integrated when I lived with a host family, but there was still a part of me that felt like an outsider. Specifically when I got lost on the bus.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have to use the healthcare. This rating doesn't really apply.

* Safety:

Be smart.

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

There are more advanced courses that I would love to take and further improve my Spanish-speaking abilities.

Finances

* 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? twenty to thirty euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save money before you go, and then budget to different things you want to do, such as tourist attractions with entry fees, food, and souvenirs.

Language

* 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? Intermediate
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? Advanced Communication and Advanced Grammar
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? Talk to the locals, or live with a host family that can't speak your language so you're forced to practice.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • 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
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?
  • The hospital internship
  • Learning about the healthcare system
  • Learning Gastronomy through taking a cooking class in an actual restaurant.
* What could be improved?
  • The intensity
  • More structured classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how expensive it would be and that I had saved up more money.

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!