It was a life changing experience that I would never do again. Past Review

By (Spanish Language Teacher Education., Trinity University) - abroad from 05/27/2012 to 07/21/2012 with

NRCSA: Montevideo - Instituto de Lenguas

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to speak spanish and I learned a lot about myself. I also got to see a more simple life style. It was worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The school first administered a test to determine what level I should be placed at. I made a careless mistake on a question and the professor went over it for at least thirty minutes even though I explained that I understood the grammatical mistake. Also, the class moved at a rather slow pace. Only one grammar point was explored per week. Since I have already taken an advanced Spanish grammar class a lot of the material was a review for me. Of course it was helpful to review some of the more difficult material, but 2 hours a day five days a week on the exact same topic was really boring. The conversation class was excellent though. I felt as though my speaking skills improved tremendously.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Program was a little unorganized. The times of classes and the professors changed frequently and the manager was not always there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mom was rarely there. She also tried to get me out of the house as often as possible. One time she sent me off with some of her friends at night even though I did not feel comfortable going out at night. She was busy with her son and rarely tried to make conversation with me. We had about 5 meals together total in the entire 2 months I was there. She rarely told me when my meals would be so they would be left of the table. She was a sweet sweet woman, but I felt like she was just in it for the extra money. I couldn't talk to the director of the program about it either because she was close friends with my host mom. It was an uncomfortable situation. I spent way too much money and wasn't given housing that matched.

* Food:

I was always given two meals a day. I would have liked to have known when the meals would have been. I also would have liked company to eat with. My family would eat without me even if I was there. They just chose not to include me in dinner and would leave food on the table for me to discover on my own.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very comfortable with the local culture. I was able to find my way around, buy everything I needed, and communicate with others.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare never came up and I did not have an experience with healthcare

* Safety:

I felt safe most of the time. The only times I was a little weary was at night. The program informed me of areas that were unsafe to be at once it got dark.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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 was able to walk almost everywhere, but the buses and taxis were cheap if I need one. And food was rather inexpensive too.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to walk if possible or figure out the public transportation system.


* 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 always spoke in 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? An advanced Spanish grammar class and a Spanish Cinema class
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? Put yourself in situation where you have to speak the language. The only way to get better is to practice.

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
  • Other
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?
  • I liked the conversation class.
  • I liked getting to practice my spanish in everyday situations.
  • I liked having a personal transformation.
* What could be improved?
  • The host family situation.
  • The amount of students (there weren't enough)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That there wouldn't be a lot of students in my classes. I wish I had been with more people around my age so that I could have made friends.