Excellent, unique experience that stands out on a resume Past Review

By (SUNY - College at Geneseo) - abroad from 08/20/2014 to 06/29/2015 with

Instituto Franklin-UAH: Teach & Learn in Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! It was a stepping stone, admittedly, but it helped me get a decent job at a private school in NY (most states you can go straight to public schools teaching and get fully certified). It has also helped me get in to NYU for a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Your professors are educators from all over the world. They will teach you skills, particularly regarding teaching foreign students and second language acquisition theory, that you just won't receive in a typical Education program in the U.S. They are also well-traveled, eclectic people like the students and are very approachable and relatable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration is excellent. Iulia Vescan is a wonderful help before, during, and for years after the program. She is a rock star. They do an excellent job handling all of the paperwork that you need to complete for residency and the like, but it's not easy and there are many things to complete. Also, the diploma and transcripts take several months to receive once you have completed the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The university does not provide housing, which, depending on your familiarity with Spanish and living abroad can be either challenging or exciting.

* Food:

The food in Spain is incredible and you will miss it (and it's low prices) dearly.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There's no better place, perhaps in the whole world, for socialization and cultural than the city of Madrid

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Through the travelers health insurance we bought I had a U.S. trained, English-speaking doctor who saw me on a moment's notice and was SO affordable. You will miss this too...it was better than my healthcare in the U.S.

* Safety:

Madrid becomes your home, your playground. It become familiar, and even as you are learning your way around you will always be safe.

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

The Teach and Learn in Spain program granted me the freedom to travel, practice Spanish, and earn a Master's Degree in my desired field of study for an extremely low cost and high reward. This degree gave me the ability to teach Spanish at a notable private school in upstate New York. It has also taken me to China where I teach bilingual STEM and Science courses each summer. Most recently, it was my academic achievements at UAH that transferred to NYU where I will be continuing my studies in Speech-Langauge Pathology this coming semester. Although UAH handed us some, admittedly annoying, challenges, such as working out communication and travel flaws between the university and our school placements and finding accommodation, I wouldn't trade it for the world- in hind-sight. Also, be advised that the diploma and transcripts do take several months to receive! I give this program an overall 9/10 because the faculty are some of the most enjoyable, helpful, and understanding people you will meet. Your fellow classmates will become life-long friends. It is guaranteed that your experience living, working, and teaching in Spain will be at the top of your most rewarding career choices you will make.


* 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 was awarded the scholarship stipend and, honestly, some months I was down to my last few euros awaiting my paycheck. However- I returned to the U.S. debt-free and ready to teach. I was also able to travel to Morocco and Turkey for quite cheap using some meager savings I had from the U.S.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would advise having a few thousand dollars saved before departure just in case you have a medical emergency, etc. It is also required by Spain that you prove you have reserve funding in a U.S. bank account in order to receive your residency permit. ( I think this was about $4,000 in 2014)


* 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

Mostly you are there to teach English and to learn how to teach several academic subjects to bilingual children and in bilingual environments. The program largely focuses on English, BUT, there are a few courses that require you to use Spanish, but they are accepting of all levels of Spanish fluency. This program was EXCELLENT for learning and practicing Spanish in real life scenarios. I also advise trying to get a Spanish roommate!

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200
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? Duolingo and a speaking partner/ intercambios (language exchanges they have at cafes in Madrid)

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Other
* 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?
  • The Topic of Study
  • Learning Spanish
  • Applying course knowledge to classroom teaching
* What could be improved?
  • The time it takes to order the diploma and transcripts
  • Distances traveled for teaching placements.
  • research resources, like Jstor access
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had practiced better work/life/school balance and saved maybe a tiny bit 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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.