Gaining the confidence to speak Spanish August 06, 2018

By (Worcester State University) - abroad from 06/30/2018 to 07/28/2018 with

Sol Education Abroad - Study Abroad in Mexico at University of Oaxaca

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about the culture of Mexico. I also gained so much confidence in my speaking abilities. I knew that I could write and read at an advanced level, so it was amazing to be able to get my speaking ability to the same level. This made the experience very worthwhile.

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 classes were engaging, individualized, and flexible, while also maintaining a rigorous curriculum.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on site directors were always available and willing to help in any given situation or circumstance.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very comfortable in the house and with the host family I stayed with.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I learned a lot about the local culture and always felt welcomed and embraced by locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I loved Sol, and I loved the culture of Oaxaca, but the food was a deal breaker for me-- my stomach did not agree with the food. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely do it through Sol, but I would do it in another city or country.

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)

Food is very cheap in Oaxaca and eating lunch with your host family saves you a lot since they're usually big meals and you stay hungry for a long time.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? It is smart not to carry all of your money with you anyways, but if you do that, it also gives you a max amount you can spend, since most places don't accept credit cards, and therefore you become more aware of what you're spending.

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

The only time we spoke English was on our walks to and from school.

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? 300
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? Just try! No one is going to make fun of you! And you're going to make mistakes, but thats the best way to learn, plus we all make mistakes!

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
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 classes
  • The culture
  • The teachers
* What could be improved?
  • The intercambios
  • classes with high school students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That the classes were also with high school students from Sol. I only had one in my class, but there was a very distinct maturity gap between us and it made the class move a little bit slower.

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!