Breaking Barriers: Both Mentally and Globally October 29, 2020

By (Syracuse University) - abroad from 08/19/2019 to 12/04/2019 with

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live away from home for a while, consistently step out of my comfort zone, adjust to a new culture, find my way around in many different cultures. Definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It would be 5 stars except one economics class I had was graded in a rather poor manner. Our final was worth 40% of our grade and one question was worth 50% of the final so this one question was 20% of our grade. The content of this question was briefly covered in class and did not warrant such a big chunk of the grade in my opinion.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my housing. I lived 7 minutes walking distance from the school and my host parents were amazing cooks.

* 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

I thought Madrid was a great mix of night live, wonderful people, and beautiful scenery. I loved it.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Probably about $100 give or take the different activities I was taking a part in on a weekly basis.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan trips early, talk to other people who have studied abroad to budget out how much money people normally spend, save up a couple thousand dollars before going.

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

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? I took a couple years of spanish in high school, but nothing too serious
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? Live with a host family, go out to eat, talk with people on your block

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?
  • Weekend trips
  • Experiencing the world with friends
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • I honestly can't think of anything right now
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I was able to plan my trips further in advance. In the winter I wanted to go to certain places, but I didn't look to book those trips until it was too late and way out of my price range.

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.'