Best decision I ever made Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., Baylor University) - abroad from 01/13/2014 to 05/14/2014 with

Saint Louis University Campus in Madrid / SLU-Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Had more confidence using the language. Definitely worth my time.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

My courses were not terribly difficult nor did they have much workload, but I also chose classes for that reason so that I would be able to enjoy my time abroad and experience the culture outside the classroom.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They are very helpful with emails prior to going abroad by providing information that you need and helping you through the admission process.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family turned out to be one of the best situations among my friends while abroad. Although it was a little confusing/stressful choosing a host family, I am glad I ended up where I did. Super fun family. Always having conversations. Called us their "children". It was amazing!

* Food:

The food we had was really good. We just had a lot of it at my host family. Good thing we walked so much this semester to make up for it!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I could have tried harder to befriend locals. The school doesn't have many Spaniards attending. Many are international as well from other countries, so everyone is new to the local culture. But I used the language when I could and enjoyed the night life and city events (futbol games!).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Didn't have any personal experience with the health care because I did not get sick nor have any problems. But I was insured by the school and my roommate received great care when it was needed so I felt good with the health care situation if I needed to use it.

* Safety:

We had one incident with a pick-pocket, but ended up getting the item back. Basically have common sense with your belongings while out on the street and you should not run into any problems. I felt completely safe the entire semester, even at night.

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)

Mostly everything was taken care of with housing. There are very inexpensive options for lunches near school.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60 (this does not include when I traveled on weekends)


* 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 lived with a host family that only spoke Spanish and took a Spanish course during the semester.

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? SPA 4??? - Semantics and Pragmatics
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? Use the language with your family and friends. Also use it when you are out eating or at activities. People do not judge you when you make a mistake!

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?
  • Host family
  • New friends
  • Spanish culture class
* What could be improved?
  • Meeting Spanish students
  • Using the language
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I almost wish I had chosen a location that I used Spanish more.

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!