Life Changing October 30, 2020

By (University of Vermont) - abroad from 01/09/2019 to 05/14/2019 with

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that I have the desire to learn languages throughout my life. Yes it was worth it.

Review Photos

Syracuse University: Madrid - Syracuse University in Madrid Photo

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.

The courses were what you expected for a study abroad program. However, I had an incredible Economics professor, Kirk Tennant, who opened my world to economic concepts and ideas that I previously was never taught. Otherwise, the best class I ever took was Spanish IV with Cristina. She was the kindest soul ever, wanted us to succeed and gave us every opportunity too, and showed us a lot about Spanish culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I should have done home stay, but it is okay since El Faro was nice enough and in a really great part of Madrid.

* Food:

LOL. Why are you still using Sodexo, a multi billion dollar corporation known to fuel prison labor? Aside from that, the food is trash. Madrid has amazing food though.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It sort of felt like a lame American bubble with the way that many Syracuse students had no desire to learn about Spanish culture. Not everyone was like that, but it was more common than not.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

For a non-Spanish looking white male, from right outside NYC, safety was a non issue.

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

One of the most underrated cities in Europe by far with so much to offer.

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)

You can easily eat and drink cheaply in Madrid, especially if you go for Menu's del dia and avoid crowded parts of the city. However, to be honest, you are abroad like this only once in your life. So, unless you must have a strict budget financially, it will be very difficult to accomplish.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ignore tourist traps and do free activities, such as walking around the city, going on hikes, and visiting neighboring towns.

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? 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? Spanish 3
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? Talk to the locals. They love hearing from foreigners on why you love their city and culture. The Spanish people are also super friendly and forgiving when you have a tough time speaking their language, they are just happy that you are trying.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?
  • Language integration
  • City location
* What could be improved?
  • Silly rules regarding drinking
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More Spanish and more about Madrid

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.