The best experience of my entire life. Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/11/2016 to 05/12/2016 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I did things that I have always wanted to do and made friends that I consider to be some of the greatest people that I have ever met.

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.

Academic rigor was just right. I enjoyed the different approach to education. I did a lot of reading on my own but much of it was just going out and experiencing things.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administration was always very helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Incredibly satisfied. I went through HelpMadrid, a real estate agency in Madrid. They helped me find a place and I ended up meeting my very best of friends in that flat. I will be forever thankful.

* Food:

The food in Spain is excellent. I learned to cook much better and to make dew with what I had.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Spaniards are generally incredibly friendly people. It is difficult to break into their friend group as an outsider but they are very cordial and warm.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a bad stomach bug for a few days and it go so bad that it was suggested to me that I go to the emergency room. They were very prompt, spoke English to me when I didn't entirely understand, and took care of me quickly. I had blood work done and they prescribed me medication. I only paid $2.50 for my medication at the drug store down the street. This experience made me more interested in medical care in foreign countries and showed me how truly broken the American health care system is.

* Safety:

I never felt that my life was in danger. Even walking around at night with friends. I felt safe.

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

I would take different social science classes and an emphasis on the economy of the European Union.


* 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)

Pretty easily. Just make sure that you know what things are important to have. If you don't absolutely need it, don't get it.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Learn how to cook! Take the opportunity to do this. It will not only save you money, but will help you develop a lifelong skill that can make you happier and healthier.


* 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

They encouraged me to use the language as frequently as I could.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had taken three semesters worth of Spanish before I went to Spain.
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? Interact with anyone that you can on the street or can meet elsewhere. Make friends with Spaniards because they want to practice their English too. This language exchange can be very helpful.

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • The people
  • Opportunity to learn
  • Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Letting students know that their classes will be a 40 minute train ride outside the city
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To soak it all in. I had a number of personal issues the first few months that I let drag me down but once I let go, it truly made a difference. My experience was much more enjoyable.

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.