Best four months of my life. Past Review

By (Point Loma Nazarene University) - abroad from 01/25/2012 to 05/25/2012 with

ISA Study Abroad in Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I grew as a person and learned alot about myself. As well I learned about another culture and how people on the other side of the world live. It was a worthwhile experience and I would recommend it to anyone considering studying abroad.

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.

I feel like all of my classes were challenging, and that I learned alot from them and I am very happy with the course I took.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration of the program was flawless. The office is centrally located and open at times that reasonable and allowed us access to the directors when it was needed. As well they were always helpful, and made it known they were there to help us with anything that we needed and to answer any of our questions. They also did a great job of having activities for us to do during the semester such as hikes and excursions in the city. Also all of the excursions we went on outside of the city of Granada they did a great job of letting us know what we were gonna be doing and keeping us in the loop.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay experience was amazing. My Senora and her family were awesome and she was very patient and very understanding. She went above and beyond all my expectations of what I had expected my Senora to be willing to do. She was always nice, would answer all our questions, kept the house super clean, was always on top of the laundry, and she would even Iron our dress shirts for us. As well when needed she would adjust the meal times for us. I could have not asked for a better homestay experience.

* Food:

The food prepared by my host family was delicious. It was always hot and freshly prepared. She adjusted the food to what we liked and what we didnt like, and switched it up often enough that the meals never felt overly repeated.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated into the local culture. I felt that once I got out of my comfort zone, and was willing to go out and try to make spanish friends thats when it all clicked and I began to get integrated with the culture. As well as my spanish improved throughout the course of the semester it only got easier. As well though it was something that was super easy at first, but I stuck with it and in the end it payed off.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health Care problems were addressed as soon as I brought them up. I got sick and went into the office and told them I needed to see a doctor, they made my appointment for the same day within an hour of when I walked in to complain of being sick. As well they went with me to the doctors and translated everything for me, and explained what was going on, they also went with me to the Pharmacy to make sure I got all the correct medications and made sure I understood the directions and how to take them.

* Safety:

I felt super safe in Granada.

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


* 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 able to budget my money fairly well, and had also saved up alot of money for my trip in advance. I also made sure to eat all my meals at home to save money on food, and always looked into the best value for my money when it came to travel.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? On food maybe 10 euros a week but it was mainly buying gatorades and waters on my walk through the city and on my commute to school.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Research the places your gonna go, use websites that compare flight prices. As well dont wait till the last minute to book things. At first its super easy to to spend money on all kinds of things you dont need and to not realize how much your spending so just ask yourself do you really need something before you decided to buy it.


* 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

They really encouraged it, in the ISA office we were only allowed to speak in spanish, unless it was an emergency or something of that nature, and if we needed to ask a question.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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? A sophmore year highschool spanish class.
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? Make flash cards of words and verbs. just try to learn 5 a day, and its an easy way to build your vocabulary. As well look into getting a language exchange.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • How centrally located the ISA office was, and how willing they were to help us adjust to the city, and answer our questions.
  • The city Granada was an absolutely amazing city.
* What could be improved?
  • I cant think of any thing.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I cant think of anything.