Best Experience Past Review

By (Criminal Justice and Corrections., University of Maryland - College Park) - abroad from 01/13/2013 to 05/10/2013 with

USAC Spain: Alicante - Spanish Language, Linguistics, European, Mediterranean, and Gender Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the spanish culture, and improved a lot in the language. Definitely a worthwhile experience.

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.

Great education!!! I learned more Spanish in this one semester than I had in the previous 5 years of Spanish I studied before I went abroad. My Spanish Professor was amazion and spoke only Spanish, which I think helped. I also learned a lot about the Spanish culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

USAC helped to make this experience so great. Everything they did exceeded my expectations. The staff was absolutely phenomenal and very approachable. They were able to help me with anything I needed. Whether it was figuring out travel plans for the weekend, giving suggestions on places to stay and visit, giving us opportunities to meet with Spanish students, tutoring opportunities, field trips, and lots more. They would drop what they were doing in a heartbeat just to make sure the students needs are met. When a group of students expressed interest in visitng the city of Guadalest, USAC decided to add another fieldtrip to the program so we could visit the city. I really got to know the staff well and appreciated all they did for me. I can honestly say I never felt home sick during my semester abroad due to the hard efforts of USAC to present its students with tons of opportunities and events.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

USAC took housing very seriously whether you choose an apartment or host family, they make sure students are placed in great locations and with the best families possible. I loved my host family very much and enjoyed my stay with them. They made me feel at home. I also improved my Spanish by talking with my family every day.

* Food:

I loved the food of Spain. Especially the Paella. My host mom was a great cook and even taught me how to make Paella.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I took part in the intercambio program USAC offers. I ended up becoming good friends with my intercambio and we both were able to practice each others native language.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt safe while in Alicante. I did not hear of any crimes that took place here during my experience. Even late at night, I always felt safer than I do late at night at my home university.

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
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? Host family

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
  • 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?
  • The city
  • My host family
  • The USAC staff
* What could be improved?
  • More internships
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how nice and approachable the spanish people are. Before I arrived in Spain, I was very nervous about using my spanish in public, but now im more confident.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'