The Best Thing That's Ever Happened to Me! October 13, 2014

By (Hospitality Administration/Management., Stephen F. Austin State University) - abroad from 06/02/2014 to 07/03/2014 with

Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA): Traveling in Central Europe - American Government - Theory

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned very valuable independence skills and how to maneuver around a foreign country by myself. If anything else, it taught me that if I was placed in an unfamiliar place, that I could figure out how to get around and survived. This trip was a memory I will treasure the rest of my life, from the food to the people, it was all magical. There are parts that are indescribable. I will miss it dearly.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Slovakia was a treat, both the people and the country as a whole.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very hospitable accommodations everywhere we went.

* Food:

Delicious, and very interesting food options. Was never afraid to try anything new. And espressos were a clear winner for me on those long days.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Nothing scary ever happened while abroad.

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)

Slovakia was very cheap for everything. Italy and Hungary got to be a little more expensive, especially in tourist areas.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 50 euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't be afraid to order wine or beer at dinner, it could be cheaper than water!

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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 2 in high school.
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? Get to know a friend from the foreign country and practice with them.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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 independence to travel Europe with really close friends
  • Learning to book a hostel, and travel on public transportation.
  • The spectacular cuisine.
* What could be improved?
  • More travel time.
  • A longer trip
  • There's really nothing I would think needs improving.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To not be nervous or go into any experience with negativity. I know every moment spent complaining or wishing we could leave was totally wrong and that we should have spent more time enjoying everything. I also wish I had taken more pictures!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.