It is not advisable to enroll. August 17, 2016

By (Biola University) - abroad from 09/01/2016 to 06/24/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Any chance to live abroad is worthwhile. Despite the negative experiences within Instituto Franklin, the year wasn't a total waste.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It's basically a diploma mill. If that's all you want then go for it, but save every email and don't be afraid to get a lawyer if funny business should arise. Communication can be difficult for those who have issues. The office lost paperwork and apostilled documents for multiple students on a few occasions and demanded replacements. An alleged tax error apparently through Fundacion led to a months long ordeal of meetings with Hacienda and the school staff. Instituto Franklin was comfortable to simply pass the expense off to the students and retroactively tax them 24% of their already small living stipend. Much information regarding this issue was kept secret for several months and was only later revealed. If you are already enrolled,don't complain about the school or you could be blacklisted from the public school system and they have kept this a secret from students as well. Students whose names were withdrawn from future placement or given negative reviews were not notified until it was too late. A very unprofessional and unsympathetic choice for a post graduate degree.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Individuals try to help, but there is a lot of confusion and bureaucracy.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing is not provided and may need to be extremely far from where students are working.

* Food:

There were one or two events planned that had food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

They inform the students of cultural differences they may find.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

They help you get set up with the local health system.

* Safety:

Generally safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

It never gave the impression of being a professional program and the staff and administrators were very defensive and unsympathetic to problems.

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)

Budgeting was standard until the tax issues arose and the growing fear of not making enough money to eat and pay rent for the final three months in addition to not getting the deposits back.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~ $500
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't spend more than you make. Know your spending habits.

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

It greatly depends on the focus.

What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? high school Spanish
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? Get a study buddy who is fluent and talk to them as often as possible.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Some individual teachers
  • The building was old and pretty
* What could be improved?
  • Communications
  • Respect
  • More transparency
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I could have read a diversity of opinions of the program beforeI enrolled. I have lived abroad for four years and this was by far the worst experience. I've never dealt with an organization like this before.

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.