Viva la Betis maunque pierda Past Review

By (Spaish, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater) - abroad from 01/13/2015 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?
I gained a lot of knowledge of the language and a better understanding of how it feels to live in a culture completely different than my own. It was definitely worthwhile

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.

Studying abroad was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. It was an amazing opportunity to learn new things about a new culture and about myself. It was weird to be thrown into situations where you are not fully aware of what was going on due to cultural differences or language barriers. The staff at SAIIE was very accommodating to make the students comfortable and insure that we did not have a bad experience. I feel as though I learned a lot of Spanish, however, I had to go a bit out of my way in order to truly be immersed in Spanish because this is a program of only American students. If your goal is to learn the language and you go through this program, you have to take personal responsibility and place yourself in situations where Spanish is spoken.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* 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? around $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to avoid very touristy areas because they tend to cost more. Go with locals because they will know the good and cheap places to go.


* 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

Some people in my program left without much knowledge of the language at all. If you were willing to put in the effort to speak and learn the language, you gained the experience. However, if you do not want to learn much Spanish and don't try, you won't learn much.

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? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 400 level literature courses
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? Speak to locals a lot. Even if you are having trouble making friends from the host country, keep persevering and it will get easier with time. Don't waste all of your time with other English speakers... Find an intercambio and meet with him/ her every week.

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?
  • The language intensive classes
  • THe planned trips
* What could be improved?
  • The language learning aspect
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it was a program with only American students

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!