Great experience, tough for visiting students Past Review

By (Trinity University) - abroad from 01/08/2017 to 05/12/2017 with

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! Gained independence and confidence and learned a lot more Spanish.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were fun, but not very challenging.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration always made themselves available to answer questions or help direct me around the city. Sometimes the information they gave wasn't super useful, but they always helped me every time I asked for it!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mom was incredible!!! She and I still keep in touch and I know I have a Spanish family for life.

* Food:

Loved the food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't really feel terribly integrated with Spanish people. I had a few Spanish friends my age, but it was definitely difficult to communicate with them. I tried, but it was very easy to stay within the Syracuse bubble. However, I always felt comfortable in the city and had no issue situating myself within Madrid. My issue was mostly with not really knowing any Spanish students my age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues in Spain.

* Safety:

I always felt completely safe in Madrid. Traveling was a little different sometimes, but in Spain I always felt comfortable and safe.

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

I would hopefully pick a program with more Spanish, but I would do this program again - even if just to meet my host family again. It was tough to be a visiting student surrounded by SU students who all knew each other. I knew I'd be outnumbered, but I didn't realize the separation would be so stark.


* 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? $70-150/week depending on travel and shopping.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You can make your own lunches and bring that to school instead of buying food everyday and that cuts costs a lot!


* 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

In my home stay my host mom was very encouraging and helped with with the language, and in my Spanish class they were very encouraging. Otherwise it didn't seem to be a priority.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate 1
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? I was so embarrassed when I first started, but once I started just speaking and making mistakes I learned so much because people would help me, correct me, etc.

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?
  • No classes on Friday!!!
  • Host family match
  • The Profs
* What could be improved?
  • Making visiting students feel more welcomed
  • Orientation was so long
  • honestly no real complaints
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More Spanish.

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.'