AMAZING Past Review

By (UTeach Biology & Hispanic Studies (Spanish), The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 08/27/2014 to 12/19/2014 with

Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid: Madrid - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience was definitely worthwhile. Prior to going abroad I had decent Spanish skills and understanding, but I was always too afraid to speak Spanish aloud, so studying abroad in Spain forced me to speak Spanish all the time and improved my Spanish and confidence! Also, the chance to travel to other countries while you are abroad is one you might not get again for a while.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classroom teaching style is a lot different from the US, especially the grading system. There were no exams in my classes and your final exam counted for over 50% of the grade for the whole class, making finals time a bit of a cram/panic.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I chose to do a home-stay experience and it was absolutely wonderful! My host mom was an amazing cook and speaking with the family each day in Spanish helped improve my Spanish immensely! They were also a great resource when I needed help on homework.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The native Spaniards don't mingle much with the exchange students, possibly because they get so many exchange students each semester they are kind of over meeting new foreigners all the time.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Never had to deal with healthcare

* Safety:

Madrid is a very safe city, and the metro as well was quite 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)

I had 2 meals included with my home-stay price so that kept my costs down

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Maybe 10 euros at the most, unless I travelled


* 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
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? Watch the TV with subtitles, talk to people in the stores or roommates.

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

  • Host Family
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Freedom to travel on weekends
* What could be improved?
  • Interactions between native and exchange students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Start planning trips you want to take on weekends early, before you get abroad so that you can get cheap airline tickets.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.