Learn Spanish, serve others, and see the world differently. Past Review

By (Spanish education and TESL, Bethel University) - abroad from 02/01/2012 to 05/23/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Guatemala

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about culture, economics, and people in general. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone, invest in others, and love selflessly. I saw so much beauty in the Guatemalan landscape and people with whom I interacted. The experiences I've gained are priceless.

Review Photos

Study Abroad Programs in Guatemala Photo Study Abroad Programs in Guatemala Photo Study Abroad Programs in Guatemala 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.

The educational aspect was very challenging and interesting. Resources were made available, but not always easily accessed. Taking classes from teachers back in the U.S. was often difficult.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

It was hard for me to get used to the food! I wished I could communicate desired foods more easily without offending host families.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Try not to walk alone, especially at night.

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)

* 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? $20-$25
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to find free places to study or hang out. It's not always easy, so if you can't, try not to splurge on expensive food and drinks very often.


* 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 a large group, so whenever we were together we spoke English, but when we went to school, did service work, and interacted with the culture, we always used Spanish.

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? 305
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? Take advantage of meals and interactions with host families! Initiate conversation and invest in relationships with them. It will really help your language skills.

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?
  • Serving at ministry sites
  • Traveling
  • Living with host families
* What could be improved?
  • Classes taught by teachers in the U.S. could have better organization
  • Preparation meetings
  • More Spanish language learning focus in language school, not just content
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would've realized that host families host students a lot, so they are not automatically going to want to know everything about your life. Building those relationships and practicing Spanish takes time and effort on your part as well.