Unforgettable and a truly worthwhile experience! Past Review

By (University of Maine - Orono) - abroad from 01/10/2016 to 05/21/2016 with

USAC Spain: San Sebastián - Spanish Language, Basque, Psychology, and European Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Everyone in the local USAC office in Donostia was always friendly and helpful. They truly helped make the transition and experience of living abroad incredible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living locally in an apartment with other English native students was a good balance for me. Outside of the apartment was a buzzing city filled with new and interesting people and places, but home was a sanctuary if I needed a little break from my second language.

* Food:

Eat everything. Seriously. Just try it.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The USAC office made many trips and local events available to us and encouraged us to get involved with the local culture and citizens.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had several health problems while I was abroad, including wisdom teeth that needed to be removed immediately. The care and attention I received was good.

* Safety:

Be smart as you would anywhere (not walking alone at night, for example) but I never felt unsafe in San Sebastian.

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)

Weekly expenses were close to what I pay for food and entertainment at my home university.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan and save ahead.


* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? n/a
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? Find a study buddy and get an intercambio. I did not take advantage of the language building opportunity as much as I should have and I regret that.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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? 0