Study Abroad Valencia 3 years ago Past Review

By (spanish and health, University of North Carolina - Asheville) for

ISA Study Abroad in Valencia, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Put it this way, I'm now in my second year as a North American Auxiliar teaching english in spain. My experience in my study abroad program propelled me to find another way to return to spain.

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.

the work load was reasonable but definitely less than a normal semester. The grading scale was also appropriate. Some of the teachers were excellent and really focused on the language and helping us grasp it. Others however seemed to be very new to teaching international students and didnt have the patience for it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

the program was great in the respect of getting the group of students together on a normal basis to see how everyone is adapting. They also did it in a more private manner (smaller groups) and didn't talk to us like they were parents but more as companions. Also the trips were very well picked out. I may suggest to add a Moroccan excursion besides the one that was offered only for Semana Santa. The availability of computers and wifi was a huge advantage as well since some apartments ( mine included didn't have internet) The option for language assist was available but maybe if more intercambios of english and spanish students were arranged more people would take advantage and improve their spanish skills, rather than just in the bars.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

the area was wonderful for nightlife and during the day. I always felt completely safe. The only down side was the commute to school was 40 minutes walking or taking the bus ( since it stopped so frequently). I didn't buy anything for the house in regards to blankets towels etc. The host family treated me as one of their own. I actually went back to visit my host mother when i was visiting valencia and she welcomed me like a daughter.

* Food:

quantity was never an issue; there was always plenty to go around. The quality was also above average and very authentic spanish style food. For future students the area around the university ( blasco Ibanez) is relatively cheap and good quality. The center of course has good quality but its a bit more expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Las Fallas is an essential experience for anyone in spain or especially in Valenica. Combine mardi gras, st. patricks day and add in the spanish version of fireworks thats whole purpose is to shake the ground, and you have Las Fallas.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I was never robbed while in the city. I also walked home late at night with another friend frequently for 40 mins at a time and never had a problem. I was also pretty sick at one point with a sinus infection and one of the program directors went with me to the hospital . She was able to help me relay my problems to the doctors and fill out paper work. There were no prevalent health issues in Spain at that time. Also the local pharmacy has a ton of options in terms of medicine. It generally very inexpensive as well.

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

Language acquisition improvement?

I would practice the language every school day during classes. Also i lived with a host family that didn't how to speak english thus I practiced spanish there as well. I also made spanish friends and switched off speaking english and spanish. Speaking english was extremely essential in Valencia. In most of the tourist areas many people at least know some broken english but the majority of the city only speaks spanish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the trips ( the organization and planning was superb)
* What could be improved?
  • more language integration opportunities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do ittt! Valencia is an AMAZING city. You have the authentic Spanish experience that isn't diluted with a ton of tourists. Your opportunities to improve your spanish will be much greater here than in Madrid or Barcelona. Also don't be intimidated by the Valenciano ( similar to Catalan), hardly no one in the city speaks it. Valencia basically has it all, student life, night life, the beach, and international airport, one of the world's biggest street festivals (Las Fallas) history, culture and of course paella.