IGER - A Wonderful Immersion Experience! Past Review

By (Communication Disorders Sciences and Services., North Carolina Central University) - abroad from 06/22/2012 to 07/22/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Puerto Rico

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The IGER Program was vital to my success as a Bilingual Speech Pathologist. I speak Spanish, and must interpret it during approximately 75% of my work day, and I really wanted a program during which I could become fluent or close to it. The staff and teachers were so wonderful and supportive. The Professors pushed us to communicate in Spanish for the whole class, but would provide explanations in English if we really needed it. The homework excercises were great for brushing up on grammatical rules as well as hearing the language in context. The materials/workbooks were great. The best part of the trip, to me, were the cultural experiences, which were very "hands-on". I learned so much about the culture, all while training my ear to understand the language better. The program's administrator, Jose Hernandez, was very accomodating, and went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and provide us with enriching experiences. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to improve their language skills and expand their cultural knowledge.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15 - $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Take advangtage of trips to the grocery store to stock up on snacks for evenings.


* 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 total language immersion was hard at the beginning, but it truly paid off. If you really needed to speak in English, the teachers/staff would accomodate.

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? Intermediate Spanish
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? Chat with native language speakers if possible, and watch programs with subtitles.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* 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?
  • Cultural Experiences
  • Class Workbook Excercises
  • Local Food
* What could be improved?
  • More salsa classes!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I would need more sneakers/walking shoes versus fun flip flops!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'