An incredible experience that I will never forget. September 17, 2018

By (Lewis-Clark State College) - abroad from 05/27/2018 to 06/28/2018 with

ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained cultural knowledge of what it is like in other countries, language experience, and I made friends that will last a lifetime. It was absolutely worthwhile.

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? Yes

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? About 200 Euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Start saving up early, and give yourself a fair amount of spending money. Although 2 meals were provided each day for the program I was in, the eating schedule was way different culturally, and I still had to purchase 2 meals a day for myself. It adds up very fast, so save more than you think you will use.

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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? High School Spanish
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? Try to converse with your homestay family (if you have one), and speak to locals often when you go out, even if they giggle at a mistake you made.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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 excursions
  • The architecture and museums
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • The application process
  • The information on homestay families
  • The organization of excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known my homestay family could not speak any English. I was pretty frightened my first day in Barcelona when they came and picked me up and I couldn't understand a single thing they were saying. It would have been extremely beneficial to me to have known beforehand so I could have practiced some basic sentences to communicate with them. There should be a section on the application on the homestay families, and what level of English language proficiency you are most comfortable with. I understand that I went abroad to learn Spanish, but I really didn't learn much from them simply because we couldn't understand each other without hand motions or Google Translate. I think beginner students should only be placed with someone who has some English speaking capabilities, I know it would have improved my experience immensely.