An unforgettable summer learning Spanish in a beautiful country! December 03, 2018

By (Eastern Illinois University) - abroad from 06/15/2018 to 07/14/2018 with

Malaca Instituto: Malaga - Spanish Courses, multiple levels

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about myself as a person, the Spanish language, and about all of the cultures I interacted with, whether it was the culture of the city, the surrounding countries, and the other students’ cultures. It was 100% worth it. I miss it every day.

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 school issues a placement test and you are put in a class with about 5 other students at your same level. It is very personal and the teachers really try to connect with their students and make sure they understand the material.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in the dorms at Malaca and it was amazing! They had a cleaning staff that cleaned the rooms every day.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The city of Málaga has a very relaxed, beach town vibe, which made it very easy for me to get acclimated to the culture. It is a beautiful city full of culture and things for students to do.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The school is located in one of the safest neighborhoods in the entire city. I felt very safe exploring the local area by myself during the day. I would recommend being with someone if you plan to go out at night just in case. It is always a good idea to be extra careful at night, no matter where you are.

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

The teachers were amazing, the location was amazing, the proximity to other countries was perfect, just everything about this program is amazing.

Finances

* 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)

I had an easier time with budgeting and I won a couple scholarships that helped pay for the majority of my trip.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would guess that I spent about $150 a week on other expenses because I took trips to other cities and countries on the weekends during my stay.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to save up as much money as you can while planning the trip. I helped myself out a lot with budgeting because I worked for a whole summer before my trip without spending more than $50 the entire summer and I worked while I was home before I left for my study abroad. Apply to as many scholarships as you can, they really help out a lot. I won about $3,500 in scholarships, which paid for the majority of my entire trip (program fees, airfare, and other expenses).

Language

* 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

None of the professors knew English, so it was imparative that I spoke all in Spanish. It really helped my conversation skills, my accent and pronunciation, and my confidence in my ability to speak Spanish.

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? I had completed my 6th year of Spanish courses before I left.
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? Try to think to yourself in whichever language you plan to study, I found that it helped me a lot with remembering vocabulary and grammar. Remember that everyone learns at their own pace, so do not feel insecure about your ability to speak another language. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the language. Keep your mind open, there are so many things you will learn about the language while abroad that you just won’t learn in a class here in the US.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
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?
  • Being surrounded by a language I love!
  • The location! I went to the beach every day and I visited Morocco and Portugal
  • The vibe! It was so relaxed there, I adopted the lifestyle a little bit. I still keep the same atitude that I had while abroad.
* What could be improved?
  • The food provided at the cafeteria. It was good, just repetitive.
  • The wifi. It failed me a few times while I was there. It would kick me off about 6 times a day for a week, but I think that it was due to the massive increase in students.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I could have afforded to stay another week so I could have visited Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Ibiza. I am pretty sad that I did not have time to explore northern Spain, but that gives me a reason to go back!

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!