BEST decision of my life Past Review

By (Social Work., University of Georgia) - abroad from 09/01/2012 to 11/22/2012 with

Spanish Studies Abroad: Alicante - Semester, Year or Summer in Alicante

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This was the best experience I have ever had. I grew up so much and learned so much about myself and the world. I would do it again in a heartbeat. My ONLY regret is that I only stayed for one semester, instead of two.

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.

Wonderful professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our administrators were always there to help, or to talk. Anything you needed, they wanted to be there for you. Our advisors in Alicante at the university from the program were always a great resource and a friendly face to ask for help with whatever we needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay was amazing since I was matched with a family that was perfect for me (I can tell that the program really took our personalities and requests into consideration). I learned so much Spanish and learned a great deal about the culture of Spain, and my family is the main reason why i learned as much as I did.

* Food:

You always hear that Spain isnt known for their food. But that doesnt mean it isnt amazing! Its different than in the US- its much healthier. But it was all amazing. Especially in Alicante, where Paella, Turron, and Valor Chocolate originated!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

By the time i left, I was PROUD to be "Alicantina". I learned so much about the culture of Alicante, and SPain. I traveled a lot throught Spain, on my own (with friends) and also through our program where we were shown the most cultural things in the best way.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had to use it. But we were encouraged to go to the doctor on campus, which was easily accessible.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable.Not even once. There are stories from bigger cities of pickpocketing being a problem, but not in Alicante. Even at night I never felt unsafe.

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

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)

All of my meals were provided for me unless I chose to eat out. My money was mostly spent on traveling. Since Alicante isn't a major airport or train hub, it was sometimes more expensive to fly somewhere because you would have to fly to Madrid of Barcelona first.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up before you go. No matter how cheap you are, you will want to spend money while there. Spend it on things to help you see, experience and LIVE the culture... not on too many clothes. BUT the shopping there is super cheap, so dont buy too many new clothes before you go, save your money and buy new clothes over there.

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 had strict rules with our "Spanish Only Policy:

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? 2000 level course
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? No matter how annoying it is, try to talk to your American friends in Spanish, not only english. My host family could always tell when I had spent too much english speaking time with my friends.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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
  • Alicante as a city
  • the Spanish people/culture
* What could be improved?
  • nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how cheap the shopping was before I left. I spent too much money buying things in the US and then saw howmuch I could have saved if I had done it over there.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.