I can't possibly tell you what I experienced in one line August 08, 2018

By (University of Granada) - abroad from 06/30/2018 to 07/18/2018 with

Sol Abroad - Granada, Spain High School Spanish Immersion

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile. I gained solo travel experience, social experience, and even a bit of independence.

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 class definitely taught me plenty of Spanish, but the rigor wasn't too high. That was, in my opinion, a good quality that the classes had.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program that we had included a healthy variety of activities, most of which turned out pretty great. I personally loved the fact that we enough free time to do our own activities, and in addition, we even modified the program a bit while we were there so we could also stop by a waterpark, which although I didn't love the idea at first, turned out to be pretty fun. The only part I didn't love was seeing the churches, but that's just me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family had a decent house, and I felt comfortable where I was the entire trip. The only thing I didn't love was the fact that we lived a little far away from everything, but it didn't matter too much in the end.

* Food:

Most of the dishes we had were nice. The only dish that my host family cooked that I didn't love was the paella, but that was only because they used seafood, which I don't like. Aside from that, they cooked some mighty meals. The other thing I didn't love was that they fed me too much food, and they hate having leftovers in Spain, so I always felt like I ate too much. However, that did seem like it was just part of the culture there.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

When we went on trips or did activities with the whole group I felt a little more touristy, but when I was by myself or with my friends or family, I felt fairly integrated. Some nights really made us feel that way, like when we sat down by the river with the local kids, or when we went dancing in the city hall square.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues, so I can't really give a proper rating.

* Safety:

The city is pretty safe. The only times you may feel unsafe are at night, because there's a chance a drunk person may try to talk to you. But that happens where I live anyway, and as long as you don't talk back to them, it's not even an issue.

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

Overall this program exceeded my expectations, and I both learned Spanish and got to experience a new city in detail, which I really enjoyed.

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)

I spent probably around 100 a week, but it was on many things, such as gifts, snacks, etc. I'd say that on food I didn't really spend that much. That's because the host family provides you with three meals a day, and they always fill you to the brim. If you had to, you could probably survive the entire trip without spending a dime; the only difference would be that it wouldn't be as fun.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want a cheap snack, most things in Granada are super cheap, but if you know the right bakery, you can get things for even cheaper. There is one particular bakery on the way to the university of Granada, and if you walk around the sloped area with all the houses, you will eventually find it. If not, just explore around and you'll find places where you can get large pastries for as little as 0.8 euros!

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

They definitely encouraged us to use the language at our homes, but not much when were doing activities, but that's partly because all the kids were at different levels of spanish, and some didn't know any at all coming into the program. If we were closer to the same level, we potentially could have spoken more spanish with each other.

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 spanish film class
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? Talk to both your family and locals, whether that means kids you meet or people in restaurants and shops.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • 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
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 activities
  • The free time
  • The kids in the program
* What could be improved?
  • there could be more classes in spanish other than simply spanish language
  • we could be encouraged to speak a little more spanish
  • they could reduce the size of the program a bit, because the size of the program when I was there seemed a little too large
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I can't think of anything

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.