Salamanca, Spain: Absolutely amazing Past Review

By (MS in Physician Assistant Studies and BA in Spanish, Marywood University) for

Travel & Education: Salamanca - University of Salamanca

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely! My Spanish improved immensely and I really grew as a person.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I think the teachers did a great job of making sure that we were learning new things and expanding our knowledge of the language and the culture. That being said, it was nice that they didn't bog us down with too much work, we had enough free time to really enjoy ourselves and actively spend time adapting to the culture. It was a good balance. Also, all of the teachers were FABULOUS. Some of the nicest and most caring professors, each with their own teaching style. They taught me a tremendous amount about both the academic course work and Spain/the culture itself.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program was extremely disorganized and was honestly was of very little help. If it were not for our student center administration it would have been a lot harder to get things such as planning trips and booking tickets accomplished. We met the person in charge of our program for approximately 5 minutes and never say him again throughout the 3 and 1/2 month stay.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a friend/classmate from my university in the United States.I had the most amazing host family. We were welcomed with open arms and made to feel like part of the family. Our host family included us in activities and went above and beyond to make sure that all our needs were met.

* Food:

The food was delicious, but many meals our host mother wanted us too eat too much. She made too much food, but I really believe she just wanted to make sure we were getting what we needed. I would much rather have the problem of too much food then too little.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Some of the best nights were just spent having a drink in the Plaza Mayor, talking with friends and classmates and just enjoying the opportunity to be in Spain, enjoying the opportunity to be part of the culture. It was also great to stay in some nights, hearing stories from out host family's past or watching the Madrid vs Barcelona soccer games.

* 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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat with your host family as much as possible to not only save money, but to really get to know them and form a bond.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Over a 300 level
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

My host family only spoke Spanish and most of my teachers only spoke very little English. The only time I really used my native language was with other students from the United States.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Other

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go into your experience with an open mind. Each persons time abroad is different, but I can guarantee if you pick the right place for you, you will never regret your choice to go abroad. This was the last entry of the blog I kept during my time abroad: Kind of feel like I am in the twilight zone. I cannot believe how fast this semester has gone and that I will be heading back home tomorrow after 3 and half months in Spain. Definitely a bittersweet moment. I am so anxious to see my family and friends, but I will miss Salamanca, my host family as well as the friends that I have made here. I will miss passing time between classes at one of the numerous little tapas bars or just sitting in the Plaza Mayor. I can honestly say that choosing to come here, choosing to study abroad was one of the best decisions that I have made in my life to date. I have learned so much, not just with respect to the language or the culture, but about myself. I have grown up in many ways and have a renewed appreciation for all that I have. I would tell anyone to take the opportunity if it presents itself. It's not easy, but it is SO worth it in the end. I won't lie and say that I enjoyed every moment. I won't lie and say that there wasn't days that I hated being here or hated everything about Spain. That's what people fail to tell you. Not everyday is perfect. You get homesick. You miss your "norm." But the majority of days, you sit and think "WOW this is such an amazing experience, I am so happy that I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and just went for it." It probably sounds cliche, but studying abroad truly is one of those things that you will never forget in your life.