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Good (or bad) Experiences with Study Abroad in Spain for College Student?

Good (or bad) Experiences with Study Abroad in Spain for College Student?

Jan 15th, 2005, 06:00 AM
  #1  
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Good (or bad) Experiences with Study Abroad in Spain for College Student?

Our daughter is interested in a study abroad program in Spain this summer. There are so many programs available we are now at the confused stage of having too many to wade through. Aside from the obvious filters of timing, cost, number of credits offered, etc., does anyone on this board have a child (or personal experience) who has been on a semester in Spain? Would love to hear any comments on available programs. Thanks!
kswl is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 06:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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there are a lot of good programs.
i have been involved in study programs for 25 yrs.
came to spain on one..
met a nice fellow who four years later became my husband (as the majority of "mixed" marriages over here)

so, i also now send others to study abroad and receive students i am sent.

i would have your daughter choose a location and weather she would like to be in...
andalucia is nice, but frankly has such a heavy accent, like sending someone to learn english to wherever you think the strongest accent is.

small town? large town? beach? summer, winter? US college campus overseas?

if you would like to email directly, i coudl give you some of my suggestions.
[email protected]

all in all it can be a great experience, so, if she will apply herself to use this time to IMPROVE her Spanish, it will be worth the money.
but if what she wants is "to see the world".. might be fairly expensive "more english than spanish" vacation depending on which program you opt for.

lincasanova is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 06:32 AM
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My daughter's high school teacher always uses Enforex in Salamanca. She takes a group every summer and likes the quality of instruction and that it's a university area. They get apartments arranged through Enforex instead of home or dorm stays. Are you asking about college credit?
www.enforex.com
kybourbon is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 08:47 AM
  #4  
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Thank you so much for your responses. Her goal is twofold: improve her Spanish, and get about 6 credit hours. She is interested in public policy and Spanish, and is an excellent language student. I will check Enforex and also email you, lincasanova. Thank you both!
kswl is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 05:32 PM
  #5  
 
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Hi,
I spent my entire Jr. Year studying abroad in Valencia, Spain. It was one of the best years of my life! I went through the University of Virginia program. At the time I decided to go to Valencia because of the climate and the proximitely to the beach. I think I was trying to decide between that and Madrid. In the end it turned out to be the right choice. Although Valencia is not as cosmopolitian as Madrid or Barcelona...it is still the 3rd largest city in Spain with lots to do. I found the people to be very welcoming and friendly. I was a Spanish major in college and my goal was to learn the language. I lived with a family that did not speak English and quickly made many Spanish friends. In the end...I ended up fluent in Spanish (as much I could be after 9 months). I think it would be a great opportunity for your daughter.
kleinjk is offline  
Jan 15th, 2005, 07:42 PM
  #6  
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Kleinjk---you have confirmed several others' opinions that Valencia is a good place for a student. Thank you for your reply!
kswl is offline  
Jan 16th, 2005, 06:26 AM
  #7  
 
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It was a great choice for me all around. The city itself is not very big and easy to get around either by walking or by bus. The "natives" were so friendly and the young people seemed excited to get to know Americans. As far as traveling..Valencia is centrally located on the east coast and we made several weekends trips to Barcelona and south to some of the better beaches. Since it is a major city...they have lots of international flights to other cities in Europe.
Best of luck to your daughter.
kleinjk is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 05:05 PM
  #8  
 
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I studied abroad in Madrid, but for 6 months. I have had many friends study for the summer in San Sebastain on the Northern Coast of Spain. It was probably the most beautiful town I saw in all of Spain, and I travelled all througout. There is a program through University of Reno, Nevada, and it is awesome. The town is small, but has a lot going on, very very safe, hot during the summer, but has a beautiful beach, and not hot compared to most other parts of Spain.
Anyhow, I would highly recommend looking into San Sebastain.
neddag is offline  
Jan 20th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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My son studied abroad all of last year-one semester in Torino ,Italy and the spring semester in Prague. The University of Reno suggestion above is called USAC (University Studies Abroad Consortium-that involves 22 schools).It has an extensive catalogue and several spots in Spain. My daughter is looking at studying abroad this next fall and I have gone through quite a few programs and their catalogues. My advice for you would be to see what her international office offers at her "home" school and then go online and look at the various web pages of various study abroad programs.There are also alot of American universities that are available for you to go through for overseas study.One of the most important things beside "where" is if her home school will accept the credits or program she is going to.Things like having an on site director,insurance included,where the students live,etc. is VERY important.Do shop around but I would be doing this very quickly as it is getting late for applications. Good luck and be sure to include more money than you think she will need-she will need it!
dutyfree is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 04:10 AM
  #10  
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Thank you, neddag and Dutyfree, for your suggestions. San Sebastian has also been mentioned by friends.

My daughter has a bit of a situation with her "home" school. She is a high school senior, but has been attending an early entrance, residential gifted program at a state university in Georgia a few hours from us. She will graduate from hs. officially this spring, and is now applying as a traditional freshman (which she is allowed to do, although once admitted she won't be a freshman) at a wide variety of schools with public policy programs: Georgetown, Georgia Tech, GW, NYU, etc. She went crazy with the online common application and applied to about 20 schools, saying she wanted the widest choice possible. So, we're going to have to select a summer abroad program now whose credits will be accepted by almost any school since we won't know until April where she'll be going. I think that means we'll have to just ask if the program in question has had any problem with credits transferring. I am guessing that fairly lower-level language (4th year) and your basic "history and culture" classes will be accepted anywhere---at least for a Spanish minor, which is her goal. Because we live in Georgia, and she is already in the university system here, the U of Ga program looks like it would probably fit the bill, although it seems less exciting than other programs. Cost is certainly a factor, as we can afford to pay more for the summer program if she chooses a more affordable school overall.
kswl is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 04:57 AM
  #11  
 
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Salamanca is also a good choice for college students. It is a very old university town (dating back to the Middle Ages, I believe). I took a Spanish course there a few years ago (much older than a college student) and really enjoyed the city because it felt safe, manageable/navigable and yet very lively, interesting, attractive etc.

Neddag mentioned San Sebastian, in the north of Spain. I understand that it's quite beautiful. The one issue that you might want to consider, though, is that San Sebastian is in Basque territory and has sometimes been the target of ETA's terrorist activities. There are differing views on how significant the risk and where the risk is (some say the risks are greater in places like Madrid, the capital, rather than in the heartland of the Basque territory; some say that tourist hotspots can be a target). And, of course, the risk of being caught by such an attack are probably less than the risk of being hit by a car while crossing the street. But it is the kind of thing that parents worry about.
Kate_W is offline  
Jan 21st, 2005, 05:26 AM
  #12  
 
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don't start up on where the terrorists would most likely take action ..PLEASE!.
i won't go into the names of all the places it has happened.. so.. they seem subdued now, except for a car bomb in northern spain next to bilbao this week.

we hope this will all come to an end soon.

getting back to SCHOOLS.. i find that the NON-american university programs have such a nice mix of nationalities in the classes. gives chance to make european friends.

just an observation.

choose a region.. then see what schools are there. the am. university ones are probably the most expensive.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 08:46 PM
  #13  
jmg
 
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My daughter is in Barcelona for a semester currently. She is very happy with the city and all it has to offer. Pickpockets have been the biggest worry so far. She has only been there for 3 weeks and has already traveled to Madrid and London. She is taking a full load of classes which includes intensive spanish. There was an adjustment period the first week or so but seems to have adapted. I recommend having one friend along if possible. Other than that it is the best way to learn the language and what a wonderful opportunity. I think we need to go back to college!
jmg is offline  
Jan 27th, 2005, 08:54 PM
  #14  
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You are right!
kswl is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 06:33 AM
  #15  
jmg
 
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Meant to tell you the program is through IES-
they seem to be very organized. 475 students arein the program for the Spring semester. If they have a summer program it should probably be less students.
jmg is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 07:21 AM
  #16  
 
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I studied in Sevilla for a semester through Broward College, FL. It was an amazing experience! I only wished I had stayed for 1 year. The school was the Center for Cross Cultural Studies. If your daughter is fluent in Spanish, she may also take classes at the University. I studied International Business and Spanish while there and was able to double minor in both. Hope this info helps!
JennaJ is offline  
Jan 28th, 2005, 07:35 AM
  #17  
 
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My son sepnt a semster in Seviile and loved it. He lived in a Spanish home, met new people travelled and studied. His experiences were unlike anything he could have had in the US. I wish they had this proram when I was in college.

David
davidjac is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 07:38 AM
  #18  
 
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My daughter is currently in southern Spain and loves it! We had many of the worries that most parents have but she is in Intensive Spainish, Sp cultural course, and linguistics so she is busy but the school program provides the students with trips as well. We are planning a trip to visit as a nice bonus...she is a jr in college! kathy
kath2 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 07:49 AM
  #19  
 
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Have you checked with your daughter's school to see what programs they may sponsor? Both my daughters have done study abroad programs. One is on a year long program in Germany right now and through San Francisco State University and the school has arranged everything. It seems to be the best way to ensure that credits get applied to her program of study at her University of record.
Grasshopper is offline  
Jan 29th, 2005, 08:35 AM
  #20  
 
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Are there similar programs for French students in France wishing to study in the USA during summer months, say in New Jersey? Do you know how to contact a source in France, say Paris, for information? Thank you.
Thomas is offline  

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