Espana, te echos de menos Past Review

By (History and Political Science, 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 changed exponentially after my study abroad experience. I am now much more open and tolerant and excited to try new things. Spain put my life into perspective and taught me that there is more to life than a good grade and making money. I am now taking a year off between under graduate and law school because of Spain and my desire to see more of what is out there before settling down into a life long career.

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 workload and grading system in Spain is entirely exam-based. My classes only had the final exam as the grade you received. This grading structure is not conducive to an intellectual learning experience but did provide flexibility within my schedule so that I could travel more. The teaching methods are similar to that I have experienced in America, essentially, solely lecture based.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The international education department at the College at Brockport, Suny, is extensive and provides many opportunities. However, it seemed as if they have taken on too much of a work load themselves because it was difficult to receive feedback at times when it was vital to my study abroad experience. Also, if they were more straightforward with the complexity of the application process I would have had a simpler time preparing for my trip and not have felt so over-whelmed as I did within the last few weeks I was in New York.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Vegetarians or vegans may have difficulties or other underlying health factors (lactose intolerant, gluten-free) but mostly everything is readily available.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The friends I made in Spain and from my University (UFV) are ever-lasting. Even having the opportunity to meet international students and other Americans was a memorable cultural experience. Additionally, Spain is one of the best, in my opinion, European countries to study in because you have access to so many other Spanish cities that are full of culture and all other European countries are easily accessible. Living in Madrid, the capital, provided me with the metropolitan city-atmosphere as well as every travel opportunity to go to other, more rural parts of Spain.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The one aspect of Spain that was unsafe was the robbery rates.

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?

Many people did speak English but I also did not stress the importance of practicing the language. Although my Spanish skills increased ten-fold, it was primarily due to the fact that my Professors did not speak English so I was constantly around Spanish in the classroom setting. In the everyday life of Spain, you must know at least beginner to intermediate level Spanish.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Cultural Experiences
* What could be improved?
  • Education
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Any type of student would benefit from studying abroad because it is more than just an academic experience. You have once in a life time opportunities to travel and make friends you would otherwise never meet. If you study in Madrid or any part of Spain - make sure to enjoy siesta time while it lasts! (it does not come back to America with you..)