Better than I could have imagined May 26, 2017

By (The College of New Jersey) - abroad from 01/10/2017 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?
It was absolutely worthwhile; I gained so much knowledge not only in my classes and from my professors but also simply from living in a different country and learning to appreciate the culture and looking at the world from a different point of view

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Loved my classes - challenging but so interesting, and the professors were amazing and always available to answer questions and offer help

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very helpful, always available to answer questions and very easily accessible

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family treated the experience like a contract; my needs were met but I did not feel very included. I know that most other students had great experiences though

* Food:

The food was absolutely amazing - even being celiac I never had problems

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was so easy to get to know the city and the people; we made friends with waiters and storeowners and kind of became regulars at some of the restaurants and bars

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Streets well lit, often saw police officers patrolling late at night. Always felt safe walking, and other students in the program lived close enough for everyone to walk together

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

Instituto Franklin was a really good fit for me and I have no words to describe my love for Alcalá

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 20 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat a lot of meals at home, and take advantage of tapas when you go out. Try to keep a weekly budget and fall into a steady routine to keep you on track. Also be aware that you'll be traveling and try to schedule those weekend trips (especially spring break!) as soon as you can

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? Intermediate
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? Even when you're with your friends, make sure you speak the foreign language! It's good practice and you won't stick out

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursions
  • Location
  • Professors and classes
* What could be improved?
  • Host stay matching with students
  • Communication before program begins
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That the culture shock and homesickness may hit, and the best way to get past it is to not hesitate and dive right into the culture you're in

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!