Learning and growing and having fun December 27, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/25/2019 to 12/22/2019 with

PRESHCO: Study Abroad in Córdoba, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Spanish improved immensely, I made lifelong friends, I learned a lot about a new culture and how to find my place in it, I gained confidence... It was completely 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.

I learned so much in terms of cultural and language immersion. However, the classes were no match for the level of interest and quality of my home institution.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Every single detail was taken care of and almost every problem encountered along the way was resolved quickly. I could hardly be happier!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Every detail was taken care of and I loved the opportunity to live with a host family.

* Food:

My dietary restrictions were taken care of without a problem, which had worried me a bit going into the experience.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living with a host family helped, but it was still difficult to get to know people outside of the program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt completely safe 99% of the time. Cordoba was in general a very safe city.

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

I considered a couple of programs before finally settling on PRESHCO and I now have absolutely no doubts that I chose the best one for me. I felt completely supported during the whole semester, but I was still constantly challenged without feeling scared. I traveled more than I would have been able to with another program, I loved being able to live with a host family, I love how the program fostered friendships among its students.... I wish I COULD do it 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)

The $500 in cultural reimbursement funds was ESSENTIAL for someone who usually works at school to cover her own expenses. Basic expenses were pretty much taken care of through eating with host families, etc., and I did not have to use many savings to do other fun things like travel thanks to the $500 cushion.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to avoid going out to eat in general. And don't carry around too much cash in case something happens and you lose it.

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

Every student was expected to use the language at all times. Not everyone complied, and sometimes I think the administrators of the program could have been a bit more hard on them, but it was definitely encouraged.

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? Spanish 241 (intermediate)
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Speak the language with the other Americans. It's not enough, and interaction with locals is key, but it helps.

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
  • 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?
  • The administrative team in Cordoba
  • Culture classes/learning opportunities
  • Travel within Spain
* What could be improved?
  • Advising with course selection
  • Measure progress with Spanish
  • Conversation partners program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have had a more realistic language goal for myself and knew more about how to have academic success.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!