Un Semestre Especial Past Review

By (Kansas State University) - abroad from 09/18/2014 to 12/18/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in Granada, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Oh Granada.... I miss it so much! This experience changed my life without a doubt and it is very hard to decide where to begin. My overall experience was fantastic - I improved my Spanish, made amazing friends and explored Europe. I'm going to focus on three things that I wish had been different: My living situation, prior knowledge about my school's attendance, and cultural immersion. My host family was very caring and we lived in a large apartment complex like most people in Granada, however I was not expecting the lack of communication/involvement from my host family. I think that in Spain many host families are older ladies who need money and so they are not hosting for the cultural experience so much as they are for cash. I found this disappointing - although I could have pushed to do more with them. Secondly, one of the major reasons I went to Spain was to travel through Europe - I even bought a EU rail pass prior to leaving... Don't do that.... After arriving in Granada I learned that my school had a rule forcing you to attend at least 80% of your classes or else you can't take the Final test (a couple of my classes were graded with only 2 tests - each 50% of your final grade). The rail pass was a huge waste of money, was time consuming, and very restricting. USE RYAN AIR! Flying is much faster and more flexible so it should be able to fit into your limited amount of time to travel. Lastly, I was disappointed that the centro de lenguas modernas was its own little island of international students and I had virtually no interaction with Spanish students. If you plan to make Spanish friends, seek how to get involved on the main campus at the beginning of your trip! Overall, I had a great time. The people are wonderful, the city is beautiful, and you will experience a type of freedom you didn't know existed... Now i'm feeling really nostalgic. You will love it!

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.

* 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?

Not as much cultural immersion in the school as I would have liked.

* 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


* 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? 60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat with your host family and walk whenever possible instead of using public transportation.


* 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 420
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 speak Spanish with your English-Speaking friends.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Guidance
  • Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Spanish Usage
  • Host Families
  • pre-departure communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be ready to hang out late at night. Talk with your host family as often as possible. Don't stay in your room alone after homework is done. USE RYAN AIR.

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.'