If you're thinking Spain, GO TO VALENCIA! Past Review

By (Washington State University) - abroad from 01/10/2016 to 04/21/2016 with

ISA Study Abroad in Valencia, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about myself while I was abroad. I came back a more mature and level headed person. I learned cultural respect while I was there and it definitely gave me more empathy.

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.

I chose the FSU program through ISA. I would highly recommend this for sophomore studying abroad. For JUNIORS/SENIORS I recommend the University of Valencia. This is the same program but you have a choice of the University you want to attend.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on site staff were very helpful and friendly. They helped me with the hardships of adapting to another country. They were not only administration and advisors, but became some of my closest friends while I was abroad. They made a huge difference in my experience!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was very nice and friendly. Their home was cozy and the family was kind. They did not speak English which helped me improve my language skills.

* Food:

The host mother would ask what I liked to eat and if I ever did not like a meal she would make me something else. She was very mindful and we were never hungry.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Spain is so unique, but Valencia is even more unique. After 2 months I really got a hang of the culture. Everyone was friendly, but the customs are very different. It is definitely a cool place to experience living.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was injured while I was abroad and was able to see a doctor who spoke fluent english. The advisors were very helpful to health problems. They also helped me fill out the paperwork for my insurance.

* Safety:

Valencia is still a large city, but it is not as dangerous as Barcelona or Madrid. I highly recommend this location to people who want to have a city experience but without the high risk.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I would chose the same program, but I would select the University of Valencia instead of the Florida State University track. But these are both through the same ISA program.


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy your flight as soon as you can! Go through STA Travel, they have student discounts. Save up 1-2 thousand dollars of spending money if you want to enjoy your time there!


* 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

If you want to learn Spanish/improve your skills GO TO VALENCIA. Barely anybody speaks English which can be frustrating, but also it is so helpful. If you go to Barcelona or Madrid you WILL NOT practice your Spanish as much because it is more touristic.

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? Spanish 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? Have a small journal that you can put in your purse/backpack/pocket. Write commonly used phrases in there before you leave. Once you arrive keep this journal with you and write down the words/phrases you learn and so you can use them again! It sounds like a lot of work, but its not and it is so worth it!

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
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?
  • The supervisors
  • The location
* What could be improved?
  • Florida State University
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? PACK LIGHTLY! You'll buy stuff over there, it is way cheaper and more fashionable. Seriously... Only bring 1 suitcase.

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.