ISA Madrid Past Review

By (Urban Studies, University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) for

ISA Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was an amazing opportunity to live in Madrid and to communicate daily in Spanish. I became more independent and confident and had a wonderful time doing it.

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.

The workload was relatively light. Teaching methods varied, but for the culture classes most were straight lectures. The professors were generally helpful but occasionally vague in assignment requirements. The school itself was somewhat disorganized, which was occasionally stressful, but did not create any large problems, as the professors were very easy-going.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The ISA Madrid staff were all incredible. Everyone is very helpful, kind, and fun. They have a wonderful program and do their best to make sure their students are happy with their experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I disliked having to speak English with my roommates, but I enjoyed the opportunity to speak Spanish with my senora.

* Food:

My senora provided three meals a day: a small breakfast and a large lunch and dinner. When I had class in the afternoons or an excursion she would pack me a lunch.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The ISA excursions were all very enjoyable. I got to visit cities that I otherwise might not have seen, including Toledo, Salamanca, Granada, Avila,

* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I took classes all in Spanish, which helped my Spanish greatly. ISA tours were in Spanish and the office staff all encouraged speaking in Spanish. Unfortunately, most of the students did not put much effort into speaking Spanish with each other and instead just spoke English. My biggest disappointment was that I felt ISA could have done a better job at arranging intercambios / language exchanges with local students, because I think that really could have helped me improve my speaking skills.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

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