An North American by birth, a Galician at heart. Past Review

By (International Studies, Political Science, Spanish, Loras College) - abroad from 01/06/2012 to 05/04/2012 with

Universidad De Santiago de Compostela: Santiago de Compostela - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was completely worthwhile and I would repeat it in a instant. I gain many things not just academically but also personally that made me grow as an individual.

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 clearly was not a typical North American class setting, but it was nice to see a different approach, but my time was consumed between Internship and volunteer so it was better that there was not so much work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration and USC were very welcoming, understood are needs, and were willing to alter if need be.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mother was a perfect match!

* Food:

I am no stranger to Spanish cuisine. It was a first time in the Galician area, but me being a seafood lover made it even better for me.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was the first time in a while were I was treated as if I were one of them. That for me was the best part.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to the hospital once, because I lost my voice and it went perfectly well and smooth.

* Safety:

Safest I have ever felt!

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)

It is the Euro after all, but it really depends on your needs and wants.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? it varied from week to week but an average would be $150-$300 U.S.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Prior to arriving you should know your budget and how much you plan to use weekly/monthly. Yes it is a bit more expensive compared to Loras, but you need to monitor yourself. Additionally for those who do not have a Euro Account at home. I recommend you get the Capital One Online Banking Account you can use the card overseas as debit or credit and you will not be charged international exchange fee or a withdraw fee. Not all U.S.A banks do this, and it's free!


* 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

Spanish was the only choice, as it needed to be.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
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? Native Speaker
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Music is the best way to pick up the language after you are comfortable enough pick up a book (try children stories first) and try to read it. Most importantly just speak!! Does not matter who is listening, people there are not going to laugh at you for making a mistake, they will laugh at what you said, and correct you.

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

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Being treated as a local.
  • The peace of mind in my safety
  • The travelling done
* What could be improved?
  • Class options
  • type of work given
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Being a native speaker I had the option to take classes outside of those provided.