How to fall in love with a people, their food, and their language. Past Review

By (Spanish, Berea College) - abroad from 09/06/2015 to 12/06/2015 with

KIIS: Merida - Experience Merida Semester Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There aren't words to describe how wonderful this experience was. My host family was wonderful. They gave me a home away from home. The culture was beautiful and the people were warm and open. I walked away from this experience with better language skills and more confidence in my abilities. That alone was worth it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Definitely an academically rigorous program. I felt challenged during my studies.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was amazing. They were very supportive during my stay!

* Food:

The food was amazing and healthy! I even brought a few of the recipes home with me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were required vaccines for this program; consult your physician. Healthcare was easily accessible and affordable. There are pharmacies with doctors on site and they do not require appointments. Honestly, it was easier to maneuver and cheaper than what I have experienced at home. Make sure to brush up on your medical Spanish or bring someone to help!

* 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)

Some weeks were easier than other, but there are excursions which definitely put pressure on my budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around a $100, give or take.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a budget at the beginning which will allow you to have a set amount of money each week.


* 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? Intermediate
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? 300 level classes.
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? Don't think so much, just speak. Be confident and comfortable.

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?
  • Food
  • Host family
  • Work site immersion
* What could be improved?
  • Communication between leading professor and students.
  • Information about money needed.
  • Planning ahead.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More about the money I would need and the excursions we went on.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!