Learned a ton and had a wonderful time. June 02, 2020

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/20/2019 to 12/20/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Getafe

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Naturally, I improved my Spanish. However, the biggest things I gained was a higher level of self-confidence, cultural understanding, and how to be more independent.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It wasn't as hard as Middlebury in Vermont, but the classes were still challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did a homestay. I got along with my host mother extremely well, but the location wasn't ideal. I lived in Puente de Vallecas / Pacifico. By metro, this was about 30 minutes away from Sede Prim (The closest metro station was closed), majority of the other students in my program, and the most happening parts of Madrid.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Awesome!

* Safety:

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

The Middlebury program and doing classes at Getafe was great. Midd really helps you get better at Spanish and the classes at Getafe were a really novel experience. The orientation week is a bit boring, but each week gets exponentially better.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 120
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep track from the beginning. If you don't you will likely spend way too much money the first few weeks and then being more frugal than you would like the remainder of the time.

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

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? A Middlebury Spanish film class at the 0300 level.
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? Stick to the language pledge as much as you can and try your hardest to make local friends.

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

  • Local 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?
  • The city
  • The classes
  • The rigor
* What could be improved?
  • I'm not sure
  • Maybe more support with Getafe classes
  • It's a pretty great program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That 4 months goes a lot quicker than you think it would. Take advantage of every moment of it.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Sintaxis Avanzada

Course Department: Sede Prim (Middlebury) Spanish
Instructor: Beatriz Del Valle
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This was the only class I took at the Middlebury campus in Madrid. I learned a ton of Spanish. Beatriz Del Valle was a bit rough around the edges and wasn't always the most understanding, but i learned a lot. The projects we were assigned to do out of class were great. I had to go to a market, a Spanish movie, and another local University and talk to other students. I really liked all of these. This was probably my hardest class. There was a lot of work and grading was hard at times. I also participated a lot.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Sociedad y Medioambiente

Course Department: Sociología
Instructor: MERCEDES PARDO BUENDIA
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The professor was kind, knowledgable, easy to understand, and inclusive. I participated a bit less than I would have at Middlebury, but I still participated considerably. We had to write a short paper about once every two weeks and write a 10 page final paper. These assignments, much like the rest of the class, were very easy. In fact, this class was so easy, I didn't learn very much and a lot of class time felt somewhat idle.
Credit Transfer Issues: N/A
Course Name/Rating:

Periodismo y Cambio Social en España

Course Department: Periodismo
Instructor: FRANCISCO JAIME HERRANZ FERNANDEZ
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: The class was boring and long. The professor mostly read from his textbook. I had a horrible group with 2 Spaniards and another American. The other American spoke very little Spanish and this led to a lot of fighting in the group. It only got better after several meetings with the professor and the other American was eventually kicked from our group. Still, I found the experience awful and it made this one of THE WORST CLASSES I have ever taken.
Credit Transfer Issues: n/a