A Chance to Basque in Spain Past Review

By (Spanish Teacher Education, Illinois State University) - abroad from 01/09/2013 to 05/16/2013 with

University of Deusto: International Spanish Center - CIDE

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Precious language skills, I met some awesome people, and I know how to effectively assimilate into a new culture. 100% worthwhile.

Review Photos

University of Duesto: International Spanish Center - CIDE Photo University of Duesto: International Spanish Center - CIDE Photo University of Duesto: International Spanish Center - CIDE Photo University of Duesto: International Spanish Center - CIDE Photo University of Duesto: International Spanish Center - CIDE Photo

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.

Only tough at the end just because there is much to do.. but the workload is really light throughout the semester, which I enjoyed.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Absolutely everybody in the CIDE office is super pleasant to deal with, and they are all very helpful and personable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a great location close to campus, had a great family who gave me my space, and enjoyed staying there.

* Food:

Some dishes weren't my favorite or sometimes lacked flavor. If you're looking for anything spicy you won't find it here, but I always had food and my stomach was always full, can't complain here!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You become as integrated as you want to be.. opportunities are everywhere, you don't need to look very hard.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Never had a problem, but some other students did, and I thought the staff explained everything very well, and the other students seemed satisfied.

* Safety:

I felt safe walking around by myself at night, its a very well lit city and the people are very friendly, but there is still need to be alert.

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)

Its hard if you want to go out and have fun to live on a budget, but your host family feeds you, so you really don't need to buy many extra things. Sometimes I would buy snacks to have.. it mainly depends on your personal spending habits.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Some weeks more than others, anywhere from 5-30 euros.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just say no to the awesome vending machine coffee, it will nickel and dime you to death.


* 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

Almost always spoke Spanish in every class, mainly because the professors mostly spoke in Spanish during the period.

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? Lan 213
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? Don't be afraid to make mistakes, I promise you, they will happen. Just embrace it, learn, and move on. It can be embarrassing, but it is the only way to learn.

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

  • Americans
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?
  • The green mountan-like landsape
  • The conversations I had with bartenders, pedestrians, and Spanish students
  • The nightlife
* What could be improved?
  • Amount of information given before the trip (more specific)
  • The spring weather (this is kind of a joke.. but it rain a lot)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I should have brought a heavier jacket (its my own fault really), and that euskera is absolutely nothing like Spanish whatsoever.

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!