Siestas are amazing January 08, 2016

By (The Citadel) - abroad from 05/30/2011 to 05/29/2011 with

Instituto Franklin-UAH: Alcalá de Henares - Study Abroad in Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that being around Spanish majority of my day forced me to learn at a faster pace. The cities of Madrid and Barcelona are very beautiful.

Review Photos

Universidad de Alcalá: Alcalá de Henares - Spanish Studies Abroad with Instituto Franklin  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 city of Alcala was amazing. I liked how the city had a suburban feel and was only a short train ride into Madrid.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The university staff were very receptive of us, however, I wish i was the classes were more integrated with the local university students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mom was very supportive, tutored me at night, and made me feel at home.

* Food:

Loved the food

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Majority of the local students were studying in a different building, therefore we did not integrate as much with them. Should have more excursions were interactions with locals go further than just being around host family.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any issues.

* Safety:

Overall the city is safe. However, one of my classmates were attacked by locals.

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

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)

The euro was stronger than the dollar a few years ago. However, with the right budgeting I was able live comfortable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Lay out a budget plan before going and stick to it. Make sure you know and understand the updated exchange rate.

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

Majority of the class was spoken in spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 101 and Spanish 102
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? Stay with a host family and integrate with locals.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host family
  • Professor
  • Town
* What could be improved?
  • Local integration
  • Excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I am more mature and do not use going abroad as an excuse to party all of the time.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.