The experience was exciting, fun, and engaging. Past Review

By (English/Creative Writing, Berea College) - abroad from 05/24/2012 to 06/27/2012 with

KIIS: Merida - Experience Merida, Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, it was worthwhile. I learned a lot.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The class I took was extremely easy for me, but many of the other students were less advanced in the language than I was. I am sure they learned a lot. The teacher was very lenient. Overall, it was a fun course, despite the lack of challenge it presented to me.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The first two weeks, the program seemed disorganized. No one had a system for keeping track of all the students on group trips. Everything worked out fine in the end, but the lack of organization was disconcerting.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We were mostly integrated with the more wealthy population. Some of the students' well-off host families had young adult children who showed us around the parts of town they frequented. Besides people on the street selling things and one Mayan family we visited, we did not really get to integrate with the poorer or working classes. I think that is an essential part of the culture to understand and learn to appreciate.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

At one point, I needed to go to a doctor, and the director of the program drove me to a doctor.

* Safety:

From what I remember, no one ever felt threatened. In Merida, people are proud of the city's safeness.

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50


* 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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 310
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? Make friends who don't speak English well.

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 excursions.
  • Kindness of the people of Merida.
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • expectations of the teacher.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I can't think of anything.