The best experience! January 30, 2020

By (University of Wyoming) - abroad from 01/04/2020 to 05/25/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that it's okay to make a mistake. This may seem like something simple but for me it was a huge realization. Now whenever I'm speaking I feel more relaxed. I also learned that there is so much of the world to explore and you can't let the fear of the unknown stop you.

Review Photos

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

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.

While in Alicante, Spain I had the best educational experience!! I was able to earn 18 credits at my university in the United States and I was also taking classes with International students who came from all over the world. My primary goal was to improve my Spanish and the classes I took helped me immensely. All of my teachers worked to make classes fun and the classes were overall superb to those of the United States. I learned so much about grammar and what forms to actually use in Spain. The program also offers a Spanish only policy which encourages you to speak only in Spanish, this helped my Spanish improve a ton. Overall, I received the best educational experience!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

In Alicante, you are provided with the best support system. Both Pepa and Marissa are always in the office ready to answer all your questions and/or to just chat about what you have going on. Before I went to Spain, I was so worried about feeling alone. However with the company of the Spanish Studies Abroad staff and the new friends I made, I never felt alone.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Spanish Studies Abroad offers host families for the study abroad experience in Spain. This is something I would definitely recommend to everyone. My host family are the kindest people. When in Spain, they would try to teach me Spanish all the time. They would encourage me to come and hangout with them and watch tv. They also cooked the best food ever. Overall, I had the best living arrangements in Spain.

* Food:

Spanish food is AMAZING. Wherever you go you can get tapas and paella. I was always so happy with the food from my host family and the food from going out. The food is also really easy to adjust to when coming from America, they have a lot of options that are American friendly.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Through Spanish Studies Abroad, I was partnered with local Spaniards to speak and hang out. This really helped me immerse in the local culture. We would always go out to the restaurants the like and meet them on campus. We even were able to travel to their home towns (near Alicante) to go hiking and meet their families. With my host family and my new Spanish friends, I truly felt like an "alicantina."

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Through the program we were given great health insurance which allowed us to see a doctor whenever we needed it. In order to get an appointment we would only send an email to our program directors and they would organize our appointments. The local healthcare was very similar to that of the United States in the case of it was easy to access and the hospitals were very clean. I did not need any vaccines.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Alicante. Just like in any big city, don't walk alone at night and be aware of what's going on around you. I come from a very small town and Alicante was not that big of a shock to me safety wise.

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

I loved Spanish Studies Abroad. This program provided excellent support on site and a worthwhile education. I also had the opportunity to make life long friends that I'll never forget.

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)

During my study abroad, I really took advantage of my host family's cooking so that I wouldn't have to spend a lot of money. The program cost includes 3 meals a day which makes it nice.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat with your host family as much as possible!! There. is no reason to spend money going out when you have food at home. Save your money to travel.

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 program had a Spanish only policy which encouraged us to speak the language. Then we were able to vote on who spoke the most Spanish in the program.

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? B1
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Spend as much time sitting with your host family. Try not to hide in your room. Also speak in Spanish with your American friends.

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

  • 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?
  • Immersion
  • Host Family
  • Friends
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just that it's not as scary as you think. And if you've never been alone you will be okay. You are much more capable than you think.