Living the Dream: The Experience of a Lifetime Past Review

By (Auburn University) - abroad from 01/09/2017 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?
When I came to Spain, I wasn’t even sure if I could speak Spanish because I didn’t have many opportunities to practice. I was afraid to talk with people and start conversations. By my 3rd month in I was readily and willing to talk with anyone and was not ashamed to make mistakes because I knew that is the only way I would get better. It was totally worth my while and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, no matter their field of study.

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 feel that a majority of my learning was just being immersed in the culture, but I did learn a lot in most of my classes and it was never an overload of assignments.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Instituto Franklin staff was very personable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had THE BEST host mom Maria Pilar Zamorra Ultra! She deserves a raise if that is possible haha!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

People stared a lot lol.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had a couple of strange encounters, but other than that, I pretty much always felt safe.

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)

The first month was the most expensive only because I was getting necessities that I needed that i was not able to bring. After that I was able to manage my money well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you stay with a host family, eat at home as much as you can and only spend your money on necessities.


* 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 Spanish I
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? Don’t be afraid to talk. Make mistakes; that’s how you learn. Do exchanges if that is an option for you.

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

  • 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?
  • The Teachers
  • The teaching pace
  • The extra curricular activities they planned for us
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing that I can think of off the top of my head.

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!