The trip I was waiting for to expand my wings. Thank you SOL! July 25, 2019

By (Missouri State University) - abroad from 01/06/2019 to 05/24/2019 with

Sol Education Abroad - Study Abroad in Spain at University of Granada

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My language skills have improved so much, being able to converse with other Spanish speakers is incredible. I also gained a lot of foresight in planning and money management. Not to mention travel saviness, this program was very worthwhile.

Review Photos

Sol Education Abroad - Study Abroad in Spain at University of Granada Photo Sol Education Abroad - Study Abroad in Spain at University of Granada Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The educational experience I received from the CLM and my overall program superseded my expectations tenfold. The professors, quality of lectures, ease of communication (even with the initial language barrier), and the wealth of knowledge in cultural excursions left me feeling right at home in my new university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Muchas gracias a Edu, German y Miguel. Fueron increíbles con comunicación y paciencia durante todo el viaje. Salí de la ciudad durante mucho tiempo durante el curso con entrenamiento de mi deporte. España es el lugar perfecto para el paracaidismo. Gracias a mis profesores y directores de SOL, pude aprender un segundo idioma y crecer en mi deporte.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

La comunicación es muy importante y, gracias a este viaje, siempre elegiré la comunicación en lugar de la pasividad. Mi familia fue muy simpatica y se aprecio mucho.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was a bit disappointed when I figured out we were not in classes with other students from Spain. However, living with the host family made for a very immersive experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to get antibiotics while I was away and it took a matter of hours to see a doctor and start my medicine that day. Unfortunately the claim filed for the refund has not come through yet, but overall a good experience.

* Safety:

I felt very safe and well prepared prior by my program to keep myself out of compromising situations.

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

Absolutely I would choose the same program! They were so accommodating without feeling like a helicopter.

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 found it a bit difficult to live on a student budget, then again I did not do well to account for public travel costs in full prior to my trip. Next time should be a breeze.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around 100$ a week, including travel expenses.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan excursions in advance and only bring as much money as is budgeted. If not, you will always end up saving more. Get out large lump sums from atms to avoid fees, and take the large bills to convenient stores to break into smaller bits as you need them. Also, put away some cash for the end! In an envelope tucked away, you will thank yourself for that final trip with friends.

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

We were encouraged to speak only Spanish to fully immerse ourselves.

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? The highest level of language course I had completed prior to departure was Intermediate level 2.
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? Some advice would be reading a Spanish book, using an agenda in Spanish to plan, and also regularly listening to Spanish music. My personal favorite was changing the primary language in my phone to Spanish under Settings. (You can set English as your secondary in case of emergency)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The professors
  • The food
  • The city
* What could be improved?
  • More choice on excursion attendance and payment.
  • Perhaps meeting up between host families, or a big program dinner.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Some things I know now that I didn't know then: -The price of bus tickets -Schedule your stuff! -Only take a copy of your passport if staying in your host country -Pack light on backpacking trips -Get a good backpack -Get a good water bottle and use it!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'