Chill program in a beautiful city Past Review

By (Amherst College) - abroad from 01/25/2018 to 05/25/2018 with

PRESHCO: Study Abroad in Córdoba, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that work doesn't have to be your life. The people here focus so much more on the relationships that they build, and work is just something they do to sustain themselves.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The work itself was not difficult, but the fact that it was all done in Spanish posed a challenge. I didn't have nearly as much work here as I do at my home institution. My grades were based on group projects (which requires a lot of collaboration with Spaniard students), presentations, some online quizzes, and exams.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the administrators were very nice and relaxed (they gave us a lot of independence), but I would have appreciated a little bit more support at the beginning of the program when we had to choose our classes. We basically had to figure out it all on our own which was pretty intimidating when it came to our university classes (which are taken with Spaniard students).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was very understanding, let me be very independent, and made delicious food.

* Food:

I love many of the new foods I tried, but there is less variety than what you'd find in the states which can be frustrating at times. The quality of the food also depends significantly on your host family.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although the program gives plenty of opportunities to do so, I don't feel as integrated as I would have liked to be. However, I was very content with all of the events Cordoba has going on in the spring. They are quite fun and different than anything you'd experience at home. Most of my social/cultural experiences came from my host family.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't personally have any health issues while here, but the program seemed pretty receptive to the people that did. One of the administrators would accompany students to the doctor's office/hospital.

* Safety:

I felt incredibly safe the entire time I was here.

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)

It definitely depends on the lifestyle you decide to live abroad, but PRESHCO makes it fairly easy to spend little while here - especially if you decide to spend most of your semester within Spain. The host parents are paid to feed you for every meal (so you don't have to spend money on food while in Cordoba), they reimburse you for all of your academic expenses, and they give you a 400 euro cultural fund in which you can get any "cultural" experience reimbursed (in which pretty much everything within Spain other than alcoholic beverages are considered cultural). However, if you want to travel outside of the country, it can be more costly.


* 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

Whenever we were around the administrators, they would enforce the Spanish-speaking, however it was difficult for them to ensure that we did so outside of the classroom and outside of their offices.

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? Spanish Writing Workshop
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 make more Spanish friends. I think the reason in which I didn't improve as much as I wanted is because I'm not the most social person, and didn't make as many friends outside of the program as I would have liked to.

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
  • 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?
  • The program was pretty chill.
  • The city is incredible; they always seem to have events going on, and even though it is a fairly large city, it always feels relaxed.
  • The orientation trip was so much fun; it was nice to see so much of Spain before making it to Cordoba.
* What could be improved?
  • The academic support.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how difficult it is to travel from Cordoba. It doesn't have an international airport, so in order to travel outside of the country you have to take a train or bus to Madrid, Malaga, or Sevilla which can be fairly expensive (all of my cultural funds went towards transportation to airports).

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.