Spanish Studies Abroad

Program Reviews

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Deysi
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Every day is a new experience

Last semester I had the chance to study abroad in Seville through Spanish Studies Abroad. I was able to attend Universidad de Sevilla and the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies. All of my classes were taught in Spanish and my Spanish skills improved greatly.

I had the best host family I could have ever imagined. I enjoyed being able to share moments with my host family and make long-lasting connections. Living with a host family made me feel immersed in the Spanish culture.

The staff at the SSA are very kind and always available for any questions or help. It was an amazing semester that I will never forget!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Enjoy every second of it. Soak up the sun. Go out for a walk each day. Appreciate the city and the culture. Seville is a place with open arms to travelers and students.
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Caleb
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Best January Term Ever

Cuba is so amazing, but you really have to be independent, flexible, and self-motivated. You'll have an amazing time if you're looking for one! Make sure you're ready for minimal access to internet and everything happening in Spanish. You 100% need to check out the Fabrica de Arte Cubano and all the cute little bars and restaurants. Fritura de malanga is a must eat well. SO TASTY. As for classes, Cultura Cubana and Literatura Cubana are so cool. If you like literature, I encourage you to read Cuban poetry.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Bring your money in cash and don't take a taxi from the airport (happened to someone on my trip)
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Arianna
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

mixed feelings, but an overall amazing experience

Spanish Studies Abroad in Cuba was a great experience for me overall, but I want to be extremely transparent for those that are thinking of going on the program. When it comes to staff support, the women working on the program do amazing work and work really hard to make us all feel like we are a part of one big family. This is especially true when we had some special events during the term.
However, having pre-existing mental health issues, I was not provided with help even after asking for it, unlike other programs that go to Cuba. Some of the bigger groups like IFSA had their own issues, but they did provide video-chat therapy for students that requested it. If they had followed up better with helping me, I probably would have had a much better experience, especially during the first half.
Our excursions went as planned even though Cuba was in a state of instability and all the students really enjoyed these trips and connected more deeply. It was also a great time to connect with our program director. I felt like some of the activities were very adventurous and completely out of my comfort zone, but overall they were worth it.
I liked that this program was the only one with a Spanish-only policy because it encouraged us to speak more Spanish than other groups did and my Spanish improved greatly while on this program.
My host family was great and the housing was way nicer than most people would ever experience in Cuba. I was hesitant about living in someone else's home, but I made some amazing connections during my host family interactions and this is where a lot of the language practicing occurred.
There were like over 50 American students in Cuba and there were Germans, and other Europeans, so don't think you are gonna be alone in Cuba because all the programs intermingle and you can find some friends who are like you if you feel like you don't fit in with the kids in your program.
Be prepared: Cuba is HOT and buggy, you will get catcalled many times if you are a woman and if you do not look stereotypically Latin@ then people will approach you for things all the time, assuming that you are rich since you are from the States.
The academics were interesting, but not very challenging so if you get bored easily maybe The Univerity of Havana won't be the place for you. Taking integrated classes with Cuban students helps with that a lot though. It wasn't as scary as it sounded.
Be aware that the internet is expensive and hard to come by and it might drive you a little crazy. Make sure you download a VPN before you get to Cuba because, if not, you will have to find a place to illegally put it in your phone if you wanna access stuff like Spotify, etc.
Cuba is an amazing country with beautiful and passionate people and this experience has shaped my entire life and I recommend that all people go there at some point in their life. Just remember to think about how a semester is a long time and make sure you truly think about it before you decide to embark on a semester abroad in Cuba.

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Nicole
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Seville

I'll be the first to admit that I was very hesitant about studying abroad. I knew it would be difficult leaving my family, friends and everything I was comfortable with back home. I wouldn't trade the experiences and opportunities that I got for the world. With SSA, my courses and internship challenged me for sure, but also helped me to better understand the Spanish culture with hands on experiences. I met so many people from around the world, ate some incredible food and made memories that I hope will last a lifetime.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for future travelers is to live in every moment. At first, it will be difficult to be away from friends and family back home, that's completely normal. You quickly realize that Seville will become your home in no time, as long as you are willing to let it. Do not let anything hold you back from trying new things and immersing yourself into the Sevillan culture. Also, travel as much as you can! It's super easy and not too expensive.
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Sydney
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Thanks for the Memories ! (and Spanish... and friends... and mate)

This is a truly excellent study abroad program, particularly for students interested in an immersive experience. I had struggled to learn Spanish my whole life, even though I started learning in Kindergarten. I just could never get the hang of it. Living in the city of Córdoba, Argentina completely changed this. I saw astronomical improvement in my language skills and my appreciation for Latin American culture. This program gave me the opportunity to live with a wonderful, adoring host mom who was an amazing cook and wonderful, loving face to come home to every day. I got to play field hockey with a club team at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, which honed my language AND social as well as my field hockey skills. The hockey season after I got home was my best in four years. I made lifelong friends through this program, both in Argentina and within my group of American students. Even though we’re all from different states, we’re planning reunions as often as we can. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and to have learned so much. Thank you Spanish Studies Abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
This was a truly excellent program. If anything, I would improve the process of helping students acquire visas. There were some problems with organization in that regard which led to some confusion on our part.
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Brianna
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Alicante is the place to be

I loved this experience with Spanish Studies Abroad. The program directors help make the experience individualized and community based. Also Alicante has its own airport which connects you to the rest of Europe for traveling. I also loved that we were able to attend a Spanish University with Spaniards. Spanish Studies Abroad provides you with numerous opportunities to connect with locals and experience the Spanish way of life. Their commitment to speaking Spanish only helps you develop your language skills and immerse yourself. I would recommend Spanish Studies Abroad- Alicante to beach goers, Spanish enthusiasts, world travelers, and students of all kinds. In Alicante, Spain your days will be spent at the beach and hiking the castle. Also if you’re looking to travel Europe this is a great place for you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do your homework on the plane! Take advantage of every moment. You’re not just there to study you’re there to experience life.
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Taylor
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Spanish Studies Abroad: Alicante, Spain

I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain in May 2019. I went with Spanish Studies Abroad, took classes Monday-Friday at the University of Alicante and stayed with a host family. My first big takeaway from this experience was the language. My goal is to attend medical school after graduation from Marian. I have a Spanish minor in the hopes that I will be able to communicate with future patients in their first language to make them feel more comfortable and open. There is an ever-growing population of Spanish-speakers in the United States and I feel it is very important to attempt to bridge that language gap in whatever ways I can. I believe that my time in Spain has given me some of the necessary skills to achieve this goal. I have become more proficient in my Spanish conversation skills and have learned many words and phrases that will help me in the future.
My second takeaway from studying abroad is how vast the world is and how much there is to explore. My study abroad experience opened my eyes to a different culture and created an excitement to learn about cultures other than my own. I learned about the Spanish culture first hand and being fully immersed opened my eyes to the things I take for granted in my own life. I feel like I learned so much within the 4 weeks that I was in Spain, but I know that I did not get a chance to experience a fraction of the full Spanish culture! I am now even more excited to travel to new countries in the future.
I would absolutely recommend studying abroad to all students! No matter what your major or career goal is, studying abroad is an amazing experience to receive course credits and to immerse yourself into different cultures. There is always something else to learn about other countries through studying abroad. It is an unforgettable and life changing experience and I would recommend staying abroad for as long as you can!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge for me was adjusting to always speaking Spanish and understanding the fast-paced language of the native speakers. I was proficient in the classroom, but it took some adjusting when listening and speaking to the native speakers. Spoken Spanish is much different from Spanish taught in the classroom, in terms of phrases, conjugations (vosotros), and slang. Adjusting to all of this took time.
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Aurora
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Semester to Remember

My semester abroad in Sevilla was the greatest time of my life! I made tons of amazing memories, friends, and had a great support system with my program, so I never felt like I was unsafe or had to worry about anything. The classes I took at the Center for Cross-Cultural Study were both challenging, but also fun and helpful. The professors are super nice and enjoy teaching their students. I enjoyed the different immersions and activities our school offered as well, like our trip to Granada and getting to visit different museums in the city. I stayed with a host mom and was able to live like the locals and improve my Spanish, and also learn some Spanish slang (¡que guay!). I'm glad I studied abroad in the Spring so I could experience Semana Santa in Spain and Feria de Abril because they are definitely note worthy experiences. The one thing I miss most from my semester abroad is not having classes on Fridays! It was an incredible program and I wish I could rewind time.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do my semester all over again, I would keep a journal or diary of my day-to-day experiences, like what I ate, what I did. It's easy to forget about the little things, but I think they're the most important!
Alexis
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Teaching Experience!

I completed the Spanish Studies Abroad Teaching Practicum in Seville, Spain! It was an incredible experience and I gained an impressive mark on my resume. This really allowed me to grow as an educator and develop my Spanish skills. I partnered this Practicum with 2 sessions of classes beforehand. I think this is my favorite part about customizing your own abroad experience. I was able to stay with a local family in the beautiful barrio Triana and learn about the history. Spanish Studies Abroad helped us to connect with outside adventures in Europe. We were able to visit many different parts of Spain, and travel beyond! I think Spanish Studies Abroad provides 1:1 connections unlike any other program I looked into. I highly recommend future educators utilize this program or create your own like I did!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-wracking moment was finally teaching my own lesson! I was so thankful to my host teacher that answered all my questions. We had an incredible community of educators.
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Katherine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

I can't forget Barça

The SSA staff were all fantastic and very easy to talk to. They wanted to make sure I succeeded and were always very friendly. My host mother was kind and I really enjoyed her cooking. My classes weren't too difficult or too easy. I really enjoyed the subjects and relished field trips. Overall, the city was unbelievably fun and entertaining. Barcelona is a great place to go if you're LGBT. I budgeted my money well in this mid range European city and didn't need to sacrifice good food and drinks to do it. I would go back in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
1 on 1 check ins could be done with greater frequency.