Why did you choose this program?
A friend recommended studying a semester in Cantabria, Northern Spain, specifically the homestay program offered by The Spanish Course.
Great weather (considering I arrived in January), plenty of sports, on the coast and most importantly they have an award winning university with a great reputation.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
In total, I had three video conference meetings with Fernando, one of the directors of my program. I was given all the relevant information on university application deadlines, help obtaining a visa , travel recommendations, advice on travel insurance, etc.
I just needed to arrange flights to Madrid International airport.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
The one piece of advice I’d give to anyone thinking of studying abroad in Spain is to think carefully about whether of not your language skills are up to the level needed to attend dozens of classes and then the final evaluations in Spanish. Our small group were offered a free two week Spanish course on arrival before we started university, but I’d chosen to study in English.
I consider myself quite good in Spanish, but I wasn’t too sure whether I was at the level needed for studying at University.
The University that I attended for my semester, the University of Cantabria, offered dozens of subjects with the classes and exams in English.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
For me, the average week involved four hours of lectures per day, Mon-Thurs. Two hour lunches and strolls along the beach in Santander. Dinner with the ‘family’ at Spanish times (8pm).
Attempting to cut the Jamon. Youtube tutorials didn’t really help!
Unwinding at the weekends with a meal in Puente Viesgo. We also managed a couple of weekends to Rome and Dublin. Brilliant!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
Going to study abroad and being so far away from home, my biggest fear was not having anyone to chat too and maybe feeling a bit isolated.
As it happened, my fears were unfounded because, as well as Andy and Denise, I shared my ‘home’ with two other students from the States. Obviously, we all took the opportunity to practice our Spanish whenever we could. We were placed in a lovely village with plenty of bars, stores and restaurants where we could chat with the locals. I didn’t understand everything (local dialect).
I’d say that, if you are browsing this website just thinking about studying abroad, you probably have fears and doubts. Forget them. Go for it. I promise you, you will love the experience!