It was awesome! I learned and grew so much. It was also really hard. Past Review

By (Spanish Language and Literature., Bethel University) - abroad from 08/27/2011 to 12/09/2011 with

Spain Study Abroad Reflections: Comprehensive Reviews of Past Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I improved my Spanish so much. I learned to trust God. I learned to slow down and relax. I learned how to travel on my own and be more independent. I got to see how other people view life. It was totally worth it and I think everyone should study abroad for a semester cause you learn so much. But it seriously is really hard.

Review Photos

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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 pretty easy and there wasn't very much homework at all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Ricardo was awesome, he was always so helpful and kind and a great teacher. The school was nice, some of the organization at the school seemed kind of random, like classes starting on time and getting times set up with the inter-cambios.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family, they were very kind, but I wish they would have tried to be a little more inclusive, just cause I didn't really know how to interact with them or feel "at home". I wanted to branch out and really know them, but I didn't know what a normal way to do that was in their culture.

* Food:

I loved all the food. There were so many great meals and always plenty to eat. I loved going out or eating with my family. I didn't miss American food at all. But I know that I'm not a picky eater and I love most food, so I was a lot more adventurous than most.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved that we were in a small city and that we could go to stores or cafes on our own. I really wish there would've been a better way to get to know people from Spain. I think we did too much stuff as a group. I was there to experience the culture and language, but I definitely still felt like an American, and not a part of the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues.

* Safety:

It felt like a very safe city and was very clean. I'd say one thing to look out for is creepy guys. There are a lot of men that stand around doing nothing and they aren't afraid to approach you or call out at you, just don't look at them and they'll usually move on.

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)

It was definitely very easy to do. You really never had to buy anything unless you wanted to, cause your host family always feeds you. I went to cafes and shopped a lot, but none of that was a necessity, it was just for fun.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? maybe $30- but you really never had expenses
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't get something from a cafe every day, it really ads up. Definitely eat at home with your family, there's no reason to eat out, unless you just want to try a restaurant occasionally.


* 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 always encouraged to use the language, but most of the people in our group didn't use it that much, it was super frustrating.

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? SPA290
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? Speak it all the time. Always. Don't speak English. You'll get over missing it. You'll learn so much more Spanish if you speak it constantly.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • 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?
  • I loved being able to learn Spanish and being in a Spanish culture.
  • I loved all the city, the history, and being able to travel.
  • I loved experiencing new things, like food, different stores.
* What could be improved?
  • Have higher standards for the students that are allowed to go, some of them hardly ever spoke Spanish and that made it really hard.
  • Have more opportunities to interact with locals.
  • Have one on one tutoring with Spanish speakers.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't get on your computer when your home, it sucks you into the world of English and hinders your learning. Also, be really bold with meeting people (if you want local friends), that's the only way it will happen, they aren't going to come up to you.