Eye Opening! Past Review

By (Syracuse University) - abroad from 01/06/2014 to 06/30/2014 with

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gain so much respect for the lifestyle that Spanishards but Europeans live. The food access the free health care the abundance of self-care for life and how well they can separate work and personal.

Review Photos

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid Photo Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid Photo Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid Photo Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid Photo Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academic was very exceptional in terms of who the professors are. The professors are not only well informed about the concepts they teach but they are passionate about the subjects they teach. The passion is what made me learn more in-depth in concepts that have zero correlation to my career and major at that time. I do have to express that their grading is high notch and they took it very seriously. Especially the writing classes they were somewhat hardcore, but I appreciated it because the professors pushed me to the best of my abilities and I appreciate that. I have so much I can put on my resume now.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was one time I got super ill when we were visiting multiple countries and the admin team was so great in going with me to the doctor and helping me get better. I will forever appreciate the support they did for my recovery!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in a vintage apartment on Santiago Bernabeu street where the stadium is located. I have to honestly say this was the best spot from all spots that my other colleagues were placed. Not only did I get to experience the Spanish soccer pride but I was able to see all the excitement of people when Real Madrid would play home!

* Food:

I am Mexican so my tongue palate appreciates spicy food, and Spanish people are now known for spicy food. It was hard to find the hot sauces I am used to eating with my food. However, they do have amazing tapas (finger food). Let's also not forget the Olive oil and the balsamic! It was great to add to salads.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated. It also had to do because I already spoke Spanish so that definitely made it easier to integrate myself into the culture much faster than other people who did not speak the language. I made many local friends who I still keep in contact to this day. They are amazing professionals and it is great that we are now 26 and bounce back ideas regarding the professional world.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Other than that bad experience I had at the beginning of the trip other than that I did not use health care during my stay in Madrid. But I do want to share that the clinics are free to international students and they check everything you need if you need that quick check up! That you cannot find in the U.S!

* Safety:

SUPERRRR safe! I never had a problem with someone trying to steal my wallet or make me uncomfortable. But I also camouflage myself super well and did not act like a tourist at all. In the country, tourists would ask me for help all the time.

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

I honestly appreciate a lot of the systemic ways that Europeans live by. For example, I appreciate the amazing and healthy access to the local and nutritious food they have for their people. As well as their health care something that the U.S lacks.


* 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 budgeted a lot! But I had already budgeted a lot before coming so I knew how much I could spend on the whole study abroad experience.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 200-300 euros
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Yes! If you know you will be studying abroad for the next semester make sure that the previous semester you grind and get 2 jobs! Save, Save money! I worked in the dining hall and in the residential dorms. I worked around 40 hours a week and was a full-time student. This was the hardest semester for me but totally worth it! Because when I arrived in Spain I was having a blast!


* 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

Obviously when you are in a new country with a different language that is not English they always encourage you to try to learn the important words to communicate with the local people. However, the Madrid program is not that necessary only if you really want to have a better experience then yes I recommend learn Spanish!

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? There is this amazing app call Duolingo, please use it! Also, Google translate is your best friend!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Professors
  • Night-Life/ Social
  • Easy to Travel to other Places
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To bring fewer clothes!

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.