An experience that surpassed expectations and built memories to last a lifetime! May 22, 2017

By (Instituto Franklin-UAH) - abroad from 01/16/2017 to 04/28/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much more knowledge about the Spanish culture and language that I never imagined I would know. It was so very worthwhile; I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

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 enjoyed my classes very much. The material was very interesting and my professors taught the classes in a fun, engaging way.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My experience with my host family was incredible!! They were so helpful with the transition into a foreign country and culture and really made it feel like home.

* Food:

Spanish food is by far some of the best food I have ever had! I enjoyed being able to try new foods that I would not have been able to try if I hadn't come to Spain.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved experiencing the local culture, but I wish I had more opportunities to be able to meet local people that were my age.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The healthcare system was very easy to use. The insurance card from the school was the most helpful, and I was able to see a doctor when I needed to.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in my community. I felt my host home was in a very safe location, and was comfortable everywhere I went.

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

I felt comfortable in the location I was in and with the people I was surrounded by. I also felt the school was a perfect fit for me.

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)

I was able to stay on-budget all semester. I never felt any pressure to purchase something or spend money I didn't want to spend or didn't have.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I ate at home a lot, so I only spent money on food when I went to have tapas with friends or when I went into the city for fun. So, I would most likely average around 30 euros each week. But, sometimes I wouldn't spend anything, so I would have more to use during a trip or on a shopping trip.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at home as much as you can, travel cheaply (it doesn't matter how you get to where you're going as long as you get there!), and take advantage on sales for souvenirs/gifts or things for you!

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

I loved the amount of Spanish I was able to use, and how much our professors encouraged us to practice. It really made it so much easier to practice, knowing my professors were on our side and that everyone was there to practice and improve their language skills, too.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? FLSP 3080
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 in the language you are there to learn as much as you can! Watch their news, listen to their music, and get an intercambio to practice with. Immerse yourself as much as you can; even change your phone into the language for extra practice!

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

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Full immersion into the language
  • Excursions
  • Host Family
* What could be improved?
  • More interaction with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I came into the program not knowing that my classes would only be with other American students and not with local students. I wish I had known that before, so I would know I would need to put in a little more effort to meet local students on my own.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!