Becoming closer with my inner Spaniard April 07, 2015

By (biology, California Lutheran University) - abroad from 09/16/2014 to 12/17/2014 with

ISA Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was absolutely worthwhile and I gained a lot of friends from around the world. I grew up and became more independent and learned a new language. I would not change my experience for anything.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

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)

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? Advanced
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? intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I would say to make friends with the local students at your school, so then you can speak the language more frequently. I would say to break away from the friends from your native country because, if not, you will be more compelled to speak English rather than Spanish (or other foreign 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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • excursions
  • host family
  • proximity to center of Madrid
* What could be improved?
  • more explanations to basics about the city (ex. night buses, popular restaurants/bars)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that there is no such thing as free refills at restaurants in Spain, so that I could pace myself when out with friends.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Problemas Especificos de Gramatica

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Paula
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was a very picky class because it did focus solely on the grammar and structure of the Spanish language. This class was also assessed by a midterm and final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Lengua Espanola

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Esther
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was required in order to complement my specific grammar problems course, and both were focused on the written aspect of the language. We learned about all the different conjugations and how to use them correctly. There was a midterm and final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Conversacion y Composicion

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Paula
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was very useful because we learned colloquial terms to use with the locals rather than just the formal structures that no one uses. It was a very fun environment with a lot of class participation. We were graded on an oral presentation of at least 10 minutes (most people spoke the majority of the class), and our final was to answer a question from the professor and speak for about 5 minutes without knowing ahead of time what the question would be.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Espana Diversa

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Daniel
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: In this class I learned about the different regions of Spain and what's typical from each of them. Our professor even took our class to an Asturian (region of Spain) restaurant for us to experience the foods of this region, and also to spend quality time all together. We were assessed on a group presentation about one of the regions and then a final exam.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Espanol Cine

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Paz
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: She was very passionate and knowledgeable about a lot of movies. We constantly watched Spanish movies and then had to watch 5 on our own outside of class as well. We were assessed on commentaries that we had to write for each of the movies.
Credit Transfer Issues: