If you are on the fence about this program...DO IT!!! October 29, 2020

By (University of Colorado - Boulder) - abroad from 08/26/2019 to 12/11/2020 with

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Gained a more grounded sense of independence. Developed confidence in being in unfamiliar situations. Improved on my Spanish language. Learned more about the culture of Spain and the political climate of Europe than I ever would have otherwise.

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.

lots of academic resources and interesting instructors. Found classes to be more engaging with the world around me during this time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Felt welcomed and had a sense that they wanted everybody to succeed

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

El Faro Dorm is nice - also got some exposure to local students because of this. Only complaint is the food/mandatory meal plan....

* Food:

Food in the El Faro dorm food was inconsistent, depending on the day. Often not edible.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Experienced a lot of this but at the end of the day only being there for one semester limits this

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was ok. Got very sick during the semester with a viral infection. Was able to see the nurse through Syracuse University in Madrid multiple times. Not the best experience but it could have been worse.

* Safety:

Felt quite safe the duration of the semester, but there was always a slight edge of anxiety being in another country...

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

The signature seminar was an absolute highlight of the semester, not to mention the opportunity it gave us to get to know one another in a slightly smaller group, adjust to the Spanish lifestyle and see several unforgettable places

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)

2 (including some discretionary spending and travel expenses)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 150-200 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Avoid being locked into a meal plan if you can. Research activities that you want to do ahead of time (especially weekend travel!). Sometimes you can save money by booking things in advance, including travel expenses.

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

Lots of encouragement, but classes were taught in English. About 75+ or more of students in the dorm spoke only/mainly Spanish and had limited English which was a good immersion.

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? 200 level (2 semesters under my belt before going abroad)
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 yourself to be uncomfortable

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • The Signature Seminar
  • The Location (Madrid!)
  • No Friday Classes - Go Travel!
* What could be improved?
  • Cost of Program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much red tape there would be in obtaining my Student Visa due to being in school in Colorado, but being in a program whose home university is in New York. I was not able to get in on the "group visa submission" and ultimately had to make 2 separate trips to the Spanish Consulate in Boston from my home in Vermont in order to obtain my visa. BEGIN THE VISA PROSCESS AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

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 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.