Madrid- an everlasting experience; I cant wait to return to! Past Review

By (Spanish/International Studies, SUNY - College at Brockport) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have planned on study abroad since I applied for college, and Spain was always my first choice so this experience was something I was looking forward to for years! I just cant believe it is already over and done with. Not only did I gain culture awareness and new language skills, but I gained new friends and new opportunities for my future.

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.

The overall setup and system of UFV were very different to that of my SUNY school here in New York, but that did not at all have a negative effect on my overall experience. The workload is a bit different than I was used to, seeing as how the majority of my classes abroad were graded according to either a midterm exam and a final, or one final test. Participation and attendance were also credited, similar to the American educational system. It is very important to attend class to prepare yourself for the final exam! Students are also given a chance to retake the final exam which I believe is a great method to their system. At first classes seem easy compared to those I have taken previously because there was not specific homework or papers due every class, however their system pushes you to study hard and learn the criteria.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I did not feel very well imformed on the program prior to my departure, including where I was staying with the host family and what classes I could take. Also I applied to go to Madrid and find an internship which I sent a cover letter and resume explaining what kind of field I wanted to enroll in, however I was misinformed of how exactly this was going to work out. I felt as though my study abroad program was a little unorganized, but I still was able to find my own internship, with the help of the staff of UFV, and to that I have been greatly appreciated.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Well, I am a vegetarian so things were a little different and difficult for myself! I thought maybe I would have to start eating meat, but I just couldnt. But there are so many great places to eat in Madrid! Countless places! And TAPAS are the greatest addition to the culture. Buy a caña, get free food, what more could you ask for? My favorite was the tortilla española. I also must recommend the craziest tapas bar in Madrid called El Tigre- its a must see!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program I worked for called Hello! Creative Movement in English really made my experience that much more memorable. I taught ballet and creative movement classes to young girls who really left an impact on my life. I got to travel a lot also and see the beauty of Europe, and even Morocco! The other international students and I became great friends and I will never forget any of them and the experience we shared.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The health care was remarkable in Madrid. I myself am a type 1 diabetic and experienced a tough scare while I was there, but the city´s medical team, SUMMA, really did save my life (and my host mother!), and to that I owe them the biggest gratitude. I couldnt believe it when I was told it was gratis too! One downfall to my stay was that I was pick-pocketed a total of three times and lost a lot of valuables. BUT this does not happen to everyone so dont get scared! Just be careful with your belonging and always stay on guard.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Prior to the Spring semester I attended, I took an Intensive Spanish language course which really helped refresh my memory on the basics of the language, and provide a background of the culture. I took all of my courses with the spanish students of UFV which really gave me a chance to immerse more in the language and culture. I used spanish everyday, but yes of course english too!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the people
* What could be improved?
  • the length of stay!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go with an open mind and be ready to have an experience of a lifetime! Culture shock is a definite, but when it comes time to leave, I promise you wont want to!