Valencia for 8 months July 15, 2017

By (Oklahoma State University - Stillwater) - abroad from 01/30/2017 to 05/31/2017 with

Polytechnic University of Valencia / UPV : Valencia - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was very worthwhile. I lived in a whole new way for the most part. I consider myself fully immersed in Spanish culture. I learned a lot of things about myself from traveling alone. I leaned how to solve problems when you are lost in a foreign country with no wifi or internet. I met people from all around the world, even some places that the people are stereotyped to hate Americans. I learned about managing my money to make the most of my travels.

Review Photos

Polytechnic University of Valencia / UPV : Valencia - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Polytechnic University of Valencia / UPV : Valencia - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Polytechnic University of Valencia / UPV : Valencia - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Polytechnic University of Valencia / UPV : Valencia - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

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 art department is very easy going and allows students to work freely.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The international office is open 2-3 hours a day and there is only one woman working. They do not speak very good English so knowing Spanish is a plus. There was no first week orientation and the mentor program is a disappointment.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I chose to find a flat myself and it was the best decision.

* Food:

The food in Spain is amazing. Very fresh and no chemicals. The prices for food are outstandingly cheap.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The first week in Spain I met my Now Spanish boyfriend of 7 months. He helped me become very intergrated with locals. My classes were only with Spanish people and a few other Erasmus kids but no Americans.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The healthcare was easily accessible on campus but had limited capabilities. I did have to go to a real doctor at the hospital in order to get lab work done and pay for a "private visit" even though I had international healthcare insurance. The technology is much more basic in Spain than in the US.

* Safety:

Very safe city to live in. I lived in what is known as the ghetto for the first 4 months and never felt threatened even then. I was never pick pocketed my whole time here

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

It was hard at first doing the direct exchange program because I did not have any friends for the first 2 weeks compared to the students in study abroad programs with Americans. But I did not want to live in a foreign country and only live with and be friends with Americans. The language expectations were scary at first but the teachers were more than willing to help.

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)

5, very easy to live minimally in Valencia. For the amount of groceries I bought every week for 30 euros MAX, it would have cost double or more in the US.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I saved a whole year in advance. I worked really hard the summer before and saved a ton of money just for traveling while I was here.

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

My classes were in Spanish but taught in the native tongue so the teachers understood that I only knew 30-40% of what they were saying.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate Spanish
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? If you want to become fluent don't live with other Americans. Look to live with people that speak the language you want to learn.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Freedom/Flexability
  • Classes
  • Teachers
* What could be improved?
  • International office
  • Orientation
  • Advisors
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How hot it gets in the summer time in Spain and there are no air conditioners

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.