Incredibly valuable for my spanish fluency development February 12, 2024

By (Spanish Language, Literature, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/20/2023 to 12/19/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about being able to live in another country with another family and I was able to navigate my independent wants and needs while getting to know and value my host family.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I wanted to stay for a year however limitations regarding coursework for my environmental geology major prohibited me from staying.


* 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? From $50-$100/week (more during travel weekends)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You could probably save a lot more on food if you live in an apartment where you can buy groceries and cook as opposed to living in a host home and being away from the house for 9 hours at a time and having to buy breakfast, lunch etc. I found that I bought at least 1 meal oer day simply because I often wasn't home from 7 am to late (10 pm sometimes).


* 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? 300 level spanish course
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? Live with a host family! Seriously it makes the world of a difference. You learn so much from them and a lot of vocab and sayings that aren't really used at school.

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • My host mom
  • Having my friends with me in Madrid.
  • Being able to travel in Europe for cheap
* What could be improved?
  • Attendance policy was brutal and unforgiving for a study abroad program
  • Add grammar section to the entry language exam
  • Nothing else
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That most Spaniards do not each many vegetables and it would have been nice to be able to cook my own food.

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

2411 Sintaxis Superior

Course Department: Spanish
Instructor: Beatriz Del Valle
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This class was very challenging in many regards: guaranteed cold calling during class and grammar worksheet assignments due every single class. The level of Spanish grammar felt one or two steps ahead of where I was at, which made me feel like I was placed into a higher lever than I should have been from the AVANT test. The essay assignments required us to travel to other parts of the city and interact with strangers in Spanish, and while this is a valuable experience, it was pretty socially stressful and difficult to complete. That being said, Bea was fair about redoing homework assignments if it was less than an 80% and the practice exams were reflective of tests although they were very difficult. Overall she is an amazing professor if you are there to be committed and challenge yourself extensively, however, you had to bring 100% every day and there was really no room for slacking.
Credit Transfer Issues: No