A great program for independence-seekers May 20, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/15/2019 to 05/21/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was great! I got to travel a lot and my Spanish got a lot better.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I really enjoyed being directly enrolled in a Spanish university. Middlebury had tons of resources if you reached out for them. I thought the Spanish grammar class I was required to take through Middlebury was overly intense.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very accessible, well-planned. Exactly what I was expecting and what I wanted.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really liked living in an apartment on my own.

* Food:

Spain food is... fine. Tasty but you get tired of it easily. I cooked for myself a lot, groceries are cheap. Madrid has lots of great restaurants!!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Spain is great!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Very easy

* Safety:

Always felt safe as long as I followed basic street smarts.

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

I didn't want to be hand-held through my study abroad experience, and I knew I wanted to be forced to speak a lot of Spanish and directly enrolled in a Spanish university. Middlebury's program was great in that they were very supportive when asked but not overly involved unless you desired it. I had a lot of independence and was able to craft my own abroad experience.

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)

The euro is expensive and Madrid is expensive in terms of Spain but Spain in terms of Western Europe is pretty inexpensive. I cooked a fair amount but also was able to eat out/travel/etc. when I wanted. My rent was not bad for being in a big city.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 max? Usually less
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? N/A

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

I was glad that Middlebury was so strict about only using Spanish. I felt like my Spanish got way better.

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? SPAN 272
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 a language exchange! Middlebury sets them up and it was so fun doing one.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Spain culture, language, food
  • Taking a break from Wellesley
* What could be improved?
  • Middlebury Spanish grammar class
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Study abroad is truly about how much you put into it--it's worth it to challenge yourself and give it your all.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.