Viva Madrid, el centro de Espana. Past Review

By (International/Global Studies., Trinity University) - abroad from 01/12/2013 to 05/15/2013 with

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I loved studying abroad, although I might choose a different university. I loved seeing new cultures and experiencing Spain daily. I felt like I could live there at the end and I miss Spain everyday.

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 courses in Spanish were challenging, but the courses in English were not treated as seriously. There was an English literature course that was very good however.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mom, Juana, was an amazing addition to my study abroad experience. She practiced Spanish with us, made us coffee and meals, made our bed everyday, and genuinely cared about us during the time we were there. The majority of stories I tell involve her.

* Food:

Food was delicious, but often greasy. I liked trying new things that were not typical for Americans. Juana was very conscious about dietary concerns and if we did not like a specific type of food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This was easier when I was by myself, rather than in a larger group. Most of the time people could not be bothered to speak Spanish, and would only speak in Spanish when ordering food or something. Among students, Spanish was rarely used, even if people if had strong speaking ability.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Madrid felt very safe to me. We were always advised about protests that were happening and parts of the city to avoid, particularly late at night. We were given tips on how to avoid pick-pocketing and my host mom warned us about how robbers can trick you.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

I am not sure because two meals were included in my tuition to the program.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would estimate 25 to 40 euros per week on food.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to space trips apart during the semester.


* 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

It encouraged us during the classroom, but people always spoke English outside the classroom. This was slightly disappointing.

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? Upper division 3 thousand at Trinity
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? Force conversation, even if it can be uncomfortable. The more practice you get the better. People are almost always willing to speak with you.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • My host mom
  • Traveling
  • Cultural events in Madrid
* What could be improved?
  • Language emmersion
  • Roommate matching
  • Difficulty of coursework
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That Syracuse University students would predominate the program almost entirely and that it would be harder to make friends when I was one of the only people from my university.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Travel Writing and New Media

Course Department: Communication
Instructor: Benjamin Jones
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The professor did not treat the course with the respect it deserved. He assigned work that could be completed in no time at all and struggled with classroom management.
Credit Transfer Issues: