ISA Spain: Educational Experience of a Lifetime! Past Review

By (Foreign Language-Spanish, Adrian College) for

ISA Study Abroad in Salamanca, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience in Spain was very rewarding. It was truly an experience that I will never forget. I cannot even begin to explain how much I learned while abroad. It was an experience that I take for granted everyday, especially the people that I met while I was there. My host family really helped me with my Spanish speaking skills and allowed me to express myself without feeling like I was making mistakes. My experience abroad impacted my cultural awareness by understanding the way of life, and the things that people take for granted on a daily basis. While taking classes in Spain, I learned a great deal about how to read, write and speak in Spanish. It also allowed me to further my Spanish abilities and continue learning even outside of the school setting. The information that I learned has continued to aid me in my understanding of the Spanish language. Studying abroad in Spain furthered my interest in teaching or working abroad in the future. It made me realize how much I loved socializing, speaking, and learning about different aspects of living in Spanish. When I returned to the US after my experience, I was continually thinking and speaking in Spanish because it was a part of my everyday activities. Studying abroad in Spain made me a different person who has more cultural awareness and takes what I have for granted everyday.

Review Photos

International Studies Abroad (ISA): Salamanca - Business, Hispanic Studies & Spanish Language Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Salamanca - Business, Hispanic Studies & Spanish Language Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Salamanca - Business, Hispanic Studies & Spanish Language Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Salamanca - Business, Hispanic Studies & Spanish Language Photo International Studies Abroad (ISA): Salamanca - Business, Hispanic Studies & Spanish Language Photo

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 similar to the American educational system. The grading system and teaching methods were different in many aspects. However, understanding these differences were an easy transition for me.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

In the apartment that I lived in with my host family, I was treated as a guest and as a family member. I did not need to buy any materials to settle-in. I felt completely safe where I stayed, and I was very close to nightlife and class. I was a five minute walk from the center of the town, and could easily meet up with my friends there. I also felt very comfortable living in my host family's apartment whenever I would come back from class, or from going out with friends. I really enjoyed my housing situation.

* Food:

The food in Spain was excellent. The quality and quantity of the food was very good. There are many restaurants that you can choose for food while in Spain, however make sure you go to the tapas restaurants. While there, you can choose any small appetizer that you want, and you only have to pay for your drink. While in Spain, I tried many different types of food, which is something that can make your experience abroad exciting and rewarding. There are many different types of restaurants, and fast food places that you can go to. In these restaurants, you can choose many different options for your meal. In addition, you typically have a first, second, and third course to your meal. This way you can try many different types of food. The food is something that I thoroughly enjoyed while studying abroad in Spain.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were many memorable cultural events and field trips that were provided by ISA. I enjoyed all of the excursions that I was allowed to attend. During the excursions we were provided with excellent tours, accommodations, and time for ourselves to explore. I learned a lot from the tours during the excursions about Spain's culture and history. I really enjoyed the excursion to Santander and the trips in the beginning of the experience in Madrid, Toledo and La Granja. Santander was a beautiful city with many things to do while there. The beach was also a major attraction for my friends and I.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt completely safe while studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain. The apartment complex where I lived was very safe and easily accessible. There were two times where I had to go to see a doctor, and the ISA staff were very knowledgable with this and helped me tremendously with this. There were no health issues and I did not need any vaccines for my program. However, there was an instance where I needed to get my blood tested because I was overly tired and worn out. The ISA staff were very warm and supportive and helped me in everything that I needed help with regarding the homestay, school or health related issues. The local healthcare system in Salamanca that we used through ISA was very helpful while I was there. It was different to what I am used to at home, however it assisted me in everyway possible while in Spain.

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 could practice my Spanish speaking skills with my host family, my friends who I met, the locals, my professors, in my classes, and with the ISA office everyday. There were some instances while I was in the ISA office, where I did not remember a certain word, and I would ask the ISA staff questions in Spanish, and I would talk to my friends sometimes in English, however at every possible minute of every day I would speak in Spanish to everybody. My host family and my professors in my classes did not speak English, however the ISA office did know English and would speak to you in English if you had any questions. But primarily, they would talk to you in Spanish.

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

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be open to improving your Spanish speaking skills at every moment that you can whether it is flamenco dancing or ordering at a tapas restaurant. Make sure you are speaking to everybody in Spanish and showing that you can use your Spanish skills. Students who are open to new experiences while having fun, and who are not afraid to go outside of their comfort zone and be really immersed within the culture will benefit most from this program.