My Life-Changing Experience Past Review

By (International Studies, Sociology, Presbyterian College) - abroad from 01/09/2012 to 05/17/2012 with

Pablo de Olavide University: Seville - Hispanic Studies Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much from my experience abroad. It was a life-changing experience, absolutely worthwhile, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It helped me realize that I definitely want to work/live abroad in the future.

Review Photos

Pablo de Olavide University: Seville - Hispanic Studies Semester Photo Pablo de Olavide University: Seville - Hispanic Studies Semester Photo Pablo de Olavide University: Seville - Hispanic Studies Semester Photo

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.

The classes were very fair and very informative. I enjoyed them all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone in the International Office was very helpful and seemed to be available 24/7

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing situation was absolutely amazing. I lived with a host mother, which I really feel made my experience there much more valuable

* Food:

I loved the food! My host mom was a great cook, and I had no problems.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt integrated with the culture of Spain. I ventured out a lot on my own to get accustomed but there were also many programs through the school that helped with the integration.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

They were addressed at the beginning. I did not have any health problems so this was not a big issue for me.

* Safety:

I always felt completely safe everywhere I went. There was never a situation where I felt uncomfortable> The most important thing is to just be smart.

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


* 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)

Money was definitely the biggest issue while abroad. It is very hard to spend a small amount because you are always wanting to go out and do things with friends. Also, traveling costs money. I made a budget for myself which helped a lot, but I still spent more money than I would've liked.

* 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? I probably spent around 100 euro, but that varied depending on what I did each week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely make a budget and do not allow yourself to spend more than what you have budgeted.


* 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

The program encouraged you to use Spanish mainly in the home-stay because the families do not speak English, thus you must speak Spanish in the home. Also, you can pick whether you take classes in Spanish or in English. However, you do continue to speak a lot of English with your friends, etc.

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 300 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? I would tell people to definitely practice as much as you can, at home, at school, around town, etc., because it is amazing how much your Spanish improves.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • I loved the host family aspect of the program, because I now consider my Senora as a second mom.
  • I also loved the international aspect of the program because my best friends while over there were from all over; Australia, Germany, France, and Spain.
  • I really did love everything about the program because my life changed because of it.
* What could be improved?
  • The only thing I wish was different was that we took classes with other internationals, mainly Americans, not with the locals. At PC, the international students take classes with everyone else, and you get to know them much better that way.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I now know that I am able to fully immerse myself in a different culture for an extended amount of time without problems, which I was worried about since all of my other international trips had been only for a week or 2. Knowing that I can live there for 5+ months solidified my goal to move abroad after graduation.