Amazing stay with local family July 18, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/04/2019 to 05/26/2019 with

ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained confidence meeting new people, trying new foods, navigating new places/systems/activities, and speaking Spanish. It was very fun and relaxed and an interesting change from my home school.

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?

Incredible home-stay experience!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Program was very helpful for my two minor hospital visits.

* Safety:

Pick-pocketing is a huge concern. Be careful walking around the city (in groups and alone) at night and ideally stay away from certain parts altogether. I experienced an attempted pick-pocketing once.

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

I would do it again to be put in the same host family.

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)

Hard not to spend a lot in such a social culture.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't get valuables stolen!!

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? SPAN 254
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? Home stay; Mundo Lingo exchange events!!; take classes in the language.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people in the ISA office were extremely kind and helpful.
  • Great home-stay placement, including roommate.
* What could be improved?
  • I didn't love how many students were from the same few American schools in the program. Made it cliquey and lacking diversity.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I may have reconsidered the city...Barcelona is so touristy and a little sketchy. It's also a beautiful, lively, friendly place. I feel conflicted about 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 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.'