Amazing and unbelievable! July 12, 2018

By (Bates College) - abroad from 03/03/2018 to 07/22/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Montevideo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was most definitely worthwhile. I improved so much with my Spanish language skills and I learned so much about another culture and people and got to live with an amazing family who helped me to integrate into life in Uruguay.

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 would have liked a bit more help from the Academic advisors from the Middlebury program and from Bates in finding classes that would count for credit when I returned home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I think I would have liked a bit more structure in the beginning of the program because in the first couple weeks I remember feeling very lost and like I didn't have a lot of help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family, they were incredible and so welcoming and truly made me feel like part of the family!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I would have liked to make more Uruguayan friends, I think that it was harder than I thought to make friends.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues so I can't comment on the health care.

* Safety:

I always felt extremely safe in Montevideo and our program director made sure that we always knew what was going on in the city and that we did everything we could to be safe.

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

At the end of the program yes I would choose the same program now knowing what I know about the program. But if I was starting all over again and had to jump into the program without really knowing what I was getting myself into I'm not sure. I loved how this program helped me with my Spanish skills and that part would be worth doing again.

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? I spent about $60 dollars a week on food and other expenses.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I bought most of my meals out this semester, but if people are on a budget saving money I would definitely recommend buying food and cooking your own lunch. Buying food out was a little expensive but I have friends on the program who cooked food for lunch and they were able to live very affordable. Since dinner and breakfast are included with the host stay lunch was the only meal we had to pay for outside of the rent.

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

This was a total immersion program and we spoke Spanish with everyone, our host families, in our classes and even the other Americans on the program.

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 Spanish 210 in college and had taken Spanish for many years before that.
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? I think the best way to learn the language is to force yourself to speak it even when you feel like you're struggling. Even if you don't know a word or how to say something try to work around it and say something else instead of stop talking. At first it's very challenging but then one day it clicks and you realize you can understand what's happening and talk to people!

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The language development.
  • The host family experience.
  • The Uruguayan people and culture.
* What could be improved?
  • The structure of the program especially in the beginning especially with the support in the first couple hard weeks.
  • A little more help with the structure in the university especially since it's so different than an American university.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how little structure the program had and I wish I knew about the challenge it would be to adjust in the beginning with very little support.

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.'