A Spanish Experience Past Review

By (Stonehill College) - abroad from 08/25/2016 to 12/23/2016 with

UFV Madrid / Universidad Francisco de Vitoria: Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to deal with other cultures and how it can be frustrating when things do not go the way you planned due to cultural differences. I improved my spanish skills and was able to travel and explore different cultures. It was a great overall experience just not a great internship experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

API was incredibly helpful and nice. The staff was always available and helped with literally anything and everything we needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The residencia was very nice and clean and the food was good. A few things were frustrating, like the laundry service which was very difficult and sometimes lost clothes or the constant construction on the building. The overall experience was very good though.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was hard to make friends with the spanish students. I don't know if it was a cultural or linguistic issue but found the people here closed-off and clicky.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe city! I never felt at all unsafe.

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

I would DEFINITELY chose API again. They were wonderful and everything with them was great. I would not, however, work with UFV again. Although the people were very nice, the UFV internship program was very unorganized. I was under the impression I would have an internship ready when I finished the intensive Spanish class but they hadn't even sent my CV out yet. I had almost 2 weeks of waiting to hear back from businesses and ended up taking the first internship I heard from because I was afraid I wouldn't get any others in time. I wish they had been more organized so I could have had more options because I don't like my internship here very much and it is not what I was expecting. They also did not have good organization or communication when registering for classes. Class registration was all done by hand and took 4 hours. It was very confusing and frustrating. Due to a miscommunication with the international office, a bunch of international students also traveled all the way to campus on a day that there were no classes.


* 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? Very little because food was included for me. Maybe $10/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget your trip before you leave so you know how much to have to spend each week.


* 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 was very easy to just speak English all the time in school, in the residencia, and most other places. My Spanish improved and I did practice but not as much as I had hoped.

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? 6 years of spanish classes
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? Take classes in Spanish, live with a host family, and make friends with locals if you really want to learn the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Program excursions
  • Friendly program directors
  • Intensive Spanish course
* What could be improved?
  • Organization
  • Communication of university departments
  • More clear directions and communication at UFV
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that UFV had not planned ahead for my internship. It might have been better if I just found one 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!