The most amazing semester of my life Past Review

By (International Business/ Spanish, High Point University) - abroad from 01/14/2015 to 05/01/2015 with

UW-Platteville Education Abroad at the Spanish-American Institute of International Education (SAIIE)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Everyone told me that studying abroad would change my life. It’s not that I didn’t believe them; I just truly didn’t understand the impact this experience would have on me. My experience would not have gone as smoothly or been as incredible without the kindness of the staff at SAIIE. They were there to help us every step of the way, and made sure that we got everything we wanted out of our study abroad experience. Not only did I get to practice my Spanish skills with my amazing host mom Charo, but I also had the opportunity to get to know some native Sevillaños through our intercambio program. I took 4 out of my 5 classes in Spanish, and had the chance to meet some amazing professors whose relationship with their students goes far beyond the classroom. I had the opportunity to see and experience first- hand some of the most famous cultural events to occur in Sevilla (Semana Santa and Feria). I had the opportunity to travel throughout Spain as well as to Portugal and Morocco with my fellow classmates, strangers that quickly turned into family. But even more valuable than the lessons I learned inside the classroom were the lessons I learned outside the classroom. I learned that people are people; you can grow up across the world from each other, speak different languages, and have different cultures and beliefs, but we are all connected in one way or another. Whether it be a shared love for the same futbol team, or love for the same beautiful city, we can all find the similarities that bond us together despite our differences. Most importantly, I learned that “home” becomes more than just a word, and means so much more than where you live. It is the feeling you get when you are in a place that has captured your heart, somewhere that makes you feel happy, safe, free, and alive. Even if I never return to Sevilla again (which is unlikely), Sevilla will always be my home. Even though leaving Sevilla was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, I am so lucky to have had something special enough to make saying goodbye so hard. Anyone who is lucky enough to be able to go to Sevilla through this program should definitely take advantage of it, because it was the most amazing study abroad experience I could have ever hoped for.

Review Photos

UW-Platteville Education Abroad at the Spanish-American Institute of International Education (SAIIE) Photo UW-Platteville Education Abroad at the Spanish-American Institute of International Education (SAIIE) Photo UW-Platteville Education Abroad at the Spanish-American Institute of International Education (SAIIE) Photo UW-Platteville Education Abroad at the Spanish-American Institute of International Education (SAIIE) Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

My host mom was an amazing cook!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I found it pretty easy to do everything I wanted without having to worry about spending a large amount on money. Try to avoid the touristy places (restaurants, bars, etc) and take advantage of student discounts!


* 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? Advanced
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? Spanish 3280
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? Take advantage of every opportunity you can to learn the language. Make Spanish friends! They can help you, and you learn conversational Spanish. Even when with English speaking friends, try to speak Spanish to each other. It's good practice!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • getting to know the culture and language- as well as traveling and learning new cultures and histories!
  • My amazing host mom!
  • The Spanish and American friends I will have for a lifetime.
* What could be improved?
  • Nada
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That reverse culture shock is real, and going home when your heart is somewhere else is extremely difficult.

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!