Great experience, Cannot wait to go back and visit my "family"! Past Review

By (Spanish Language, Literature, Berea College) - abroad from 05/27/2015 to 06/29/2015 with

KIIS: Merida - Experience Merida, Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. I gained knowledge about the people and culture of mexico as well as the perspective about the American culture. I progressed in the language through my classes, and I was able to learn about the bilingualism within their culture of Mexican Spanish and the Mayan language and culture.

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.

I had the same instructor for both of my classes and I enjoyed her very much. She made learning fun inside and outside of the classroom. On the excursions, she constantly gave her meaningful insight.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

It would have been nice if the program director was more knowledgeable about the weekend excursions so that we were more prepared.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Mi mama was the best ever!

* Food:

Sometimes Mama would make the same meal or have leftovers, which i did not expect. I only did not like when I did not like the food. She was very old so i understood that she could not cook grandiose meals everyday.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It would have been nice to have a roommate who had the same priorities as me because she did not want to speak Spanish as much as me and was not eager to perfect her Spanish as I was.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only got sick once but did not need to go to the doctor. I did go to the pharmacy to get Advil for my menstrual cramps and headaches and the staff was very helpful, making sure that I bought the right type for my symptoms.

* Safety:

The city is VERY safe. We even walked around at night. The only thing that made the females uncomfortable were the men that cat-called. There were harmless and non-aggressive but it was disturbing at times.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? My biggest expense was transportation because we lived far from the school. So each week I spent $70 (Mexican) pesos on bus and taxi fares.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Always try to take the bus because it is cheaper unless you are in a hurry.


* 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? SPN 315: Intro to Spanish Literature
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? DO NOT be afriad to embarrass yourself and totally say something wrong. This will help you learn!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • host family
  • church family
  • excursions
* What could be improved?
  • closeness of home to school
  • pairing of roommates
  • authentic food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More details about the excursions and the location of my host house and school so that I would know that I would be spending more money on transportation.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Advanced Oral Spanish: Phonology and Pronunciation

Course Department: Foreign Languages
Instructor: Dr. Alexandra Morales Reyes
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This was my most interesting class. it was very challenging yet it kept my interest the whole term. For one day out of the term, we went to a cafe nearby to have class. It gave us the opportunity to speak freely and engage in conversations. I felt more compelled to participate in this class than in the last two classes I had at Berea. We were assessed orally and written. We had two assessment exams at the middle and end of the term. We had a couple of homework assignments and periodic quizzes. We also recorded an excerpt in Spanish at the beginning and end of the term to evaluate our progress. Alexandra was always well-prepared for class and overly knowledgeable for our discussions, and the language. She was very communicative and was always available to meet with students about upcoming assignments and even allowed the class to pick some of the topics.
Credit Transfer Issues: No