API

Program Reviews

Default avatar
Ryan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had not only a spectacular experience Abroad at the San José-based Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica thanks to the phenomenal Fall 2018 Language and Culture program created by API, but also an unforgettable one. Grew myself personally, taught me lessons, and gave me some amazing times I will cherish forever. Highly recommend the organization Academic Programs International (API), not just this program / studying abroad in Costa Rica via API! Studying abroad is the best thing I have done thus far, by far!

What would you improve about this program?
Not anything significant off of the top of my head. 5 stars.
Photo taken in front of a waterfall while on a trip through the Scottish Highlands
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I completely feel in love with Stirling and Scotland during the three months I was there! I spent the entire fall semester at the University of Stirling in Stirling Scotland. The campus itself is stunning. There is a castle and a loch in the middle of campus and hills behind it and so much open green space, it feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. Except its really not. The historic city of Stirling is just a fifteen minute bus ride away and Edinburgh and Glasgow are about an hour away by train! Plus, it is considered "the gateway to the highlands" so getting to highlands is also super easy.
Stirling has so much history, between the castle and the Wallace Monument there's so much to learn and you get to walk through all the places it happened, which is incredible! Through API we received Historic Scotland Cards that allowed us to get into so many historic sites all over Scotland for free (so go ahead visit the castle like six times!).
Academically, it was very different than what I was used to. First, they only take three modules (classes) a semester and classes are taught in two sections. Every week there is large lectures and then smaller seminar classes for each class. I took one class that I needed for my major and two free electives. For my two electives, I took a Scottish History Class and a British literature class. I highly recommend taking classes from a Scottish perspective they were so interesting and I feel like learned so much more about Scotland! The professors were so helpful and well informed. The academic buildings are very confusing and take a bit to figure out, but don't worry because you will not be the only who gets turned around!
The University of Stirling gives international students the option to live off campus but API had us select a specific on campus housing option. I lived with six other girls, from all over the world, in a cute little flat on the edge of campus. We each had our own room, and the common area had a full kitchen and living room. I loved living in that flat and with those girls who quickly became my friends!
One of the best parts about this API program was the excursions. We had a wonderful R.D. who showed us around Stirling, helping us figure where to buy groceries and how to use the bus. She also took us on trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh, but my favorite was the trip to Oban and Mull. It was a three day trip through the highlands to the western Coast and out to these incredibly beautiful islands. It was wet and windy the whole time, but what else do you expect from Scotland!
Studying abroad was always something I wanted to do and I do not think I could have found a better place and program for my semester abroad. Like I said before, I feel in love with the country and I am already planing to go back. API was extremely helpful throughout the whole process, and provided us with so many opportunities and resources throughout the semester. I made some incredible memories, met wonderful people and truly had the time of my life!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would try to visit more the surrounding towns. The public transport system is so easy to use and there is so much history in that area of Scotland that almost every town has a story, but I did not explore that many of them. I was much more focused on seeing some the bigger attractions, like the cities and highlands.
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I studied abroad with API during the fall 2009 semester and my experience still positively impacts my life 10 years later! I loved all the things that were included in the program, such as the excursions and cultural events, and I felt truly supported by the API staff both in the US and abroad. While in London, API gave me the opportunity to grow more independent and confident and I developed a love of travel. I am still great friends with many people I met while abroad. I highly recommend every student study abroad!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take every opportunity you have to explore London! There is so much to see and do and a lot of it is free! Check out museums, explore the thousands of parks, go to a lunchtime concert at St. Martin-in-the-Fields—all for free! Get out and walk around or use the Tube to explore all the unique areas around London.
Default avatar
Pamela
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Throughout the beginning of university, I contemplated the idea of studying abroad. After my first year of college, I decided to take a leap of faith and complete an application to study abroad in Spain. I want to be a bilingual teacher and studying abroad provided the opportunity to improve my Spanish proficiency. I also strive to advocate for equality and cultural diversity, which studying abroad enabled me to learn more about. I chose to study abroad in Spain since it is located in Europe, providing me a chance to travel to other countries as well. However, my favorite part about Spain (specifically Granada) was either the culture or the connections that I made. Granada embraced diversity and acceptance of others, regardless of their background. The people that I met in Granada were selfless, kind, and willing to help me reach my full potential. There were many important lessons that I learned while abroad. However, the self-discovery that I embarked on during my time abroad made my experience truly unforgettable. The transformation that I saw in myself made the experience extraordinary. The growth, lessons, and memories gained abroad made my experience in foreign countries so much more meaningful for me. Additionally, the people that I met and lessons that I learned truly made my experience abroad life-changing in the best of ways. I am still in touch with friends as well as my host mother. I still implement the lessons that I made into my daily life as a way to remember how much I have grown since the moment I left America for the first time. The people that I met and lessons that I learned truly made my experience abroad life-changing in the best of ways. I have also continued taking Spanish classes in order to stay proficient in the language. Being abroad inspired me to consider teaching English abroad after I graduate. For these reasons, I feel that my time abroad has influenced my life more than I ever expected.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wish that I immersed myself more in the Spanish culture. Traveling throughout Spain as well as interacting with more of the people in my community would have provided me with additional knowledge about the country as well as create more genuine connections. I also wish that I allowed myself to fully leave my comfort zone. As humans, we often stay confided in the environments and situations that provide us with a sense of safety and comfort. However, leaving one's comfort zone is such a life-changing experience, especially when it occurs abroad. As someone who often reflects on my international experiences thus far, I really recommend doing the things you fear most in order to truly grow during your time abroad.
Default avatar
Angela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you're looking for a high adventure and culturally immersive experience, API's study abroad program at the University of Otago is for you! I studied at the University of Otago in Spring 2017. This is an experience that I will always cherish and talk about forever!

I lived in a university-operated flat with undeniably diverse and charming flatmates. Our house consisted of 5 international students and a Kiwi host who showed us around our host city and taught us about Maori culture. One thing that I love about my flat was that it was only about a five-minute walk to campus and about a ten-minute walk to the grocery store. Additionally, my flatmates made my experience living in Dunedin the best because of all the fun experiences we shared together such as going to the beach, flat dinners, studying, and road trips!

Academically, I took courses related to my major at home. Some of the courses I took were Adventure Education, Maori Society, Management, and Language. My Maori society class was very informative about the Maori culture. Additionally, this course had guest speakers which gave introspective lectures about the Maori culture.

I began my semester abroad with an orientation in Rotorua. API hosted this event which welcomed and oriented us to our host country. This was a fun and adventurous experience with activities such as ziplining among the treetops, luging, experiencing a Haka dance, and touring active geothermal sites in Rotorua. The API excursions were high adventure and culturally immersive. My favorite excursions include touring Speights brewery, jet boating, and visiting the Albatross sanctuary.

On a normal weekly basis, my week consisted of studying and attending lectures from Monday- Thursday and going on an adventure on weekends with my flatmates, girls from my API program, and friends I've made. Some of these adventures include backpacking, visiting Queenstown, camping, and lots of hiking.

My API resident coordinator was always there when I needed her. She was a local and knew all the local hotspots and was my number resource for anything. She arranged a taxi for me when I arrived at the airport when the university's pick up service left without me. She then met me at my flat shortly after I arrived to make sure I arrived safely. My first night in Dunedin consisted of getting to know my flatmates, eating dinner with my API group, and unpacking!

I'm absolutely happy with my experience at the University of Otago and I am glad that I chose API' s study abroad program. I know that I can always call Dunedin and the University of Otago a place to call home!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you can, try to attend during the Spring semester which is the beginning of the school year in New Zealand. You don't want to miss O-week which is orientation week at the University of Otago. There are university-sponsored concerts and special events. I got to see New Zealand's popular band Six60 play at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Default avatar
Kelsi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

There is no experience like the Leeds experience.

API staff work diligently to make sure their students are integrated with British students and leave with a true English experience. My Headingley flat was shared with students from the country, and I would be one of two international students in each of my seminars. API offers excursions from an afternoon tea at the Grand Arcade to the best of Edinburgh (Scotland) and a play in city centre, tailoring the trips around student interest.

The academics offered at University of Leeds are challenging but encouraging. My theatre course started with the tutor offering us a cup of tea before the seminar, and my poetry class encouraged me to go beyond my existing understanding to further understand the lyric. While API encourages you to transition to the new system with entry-level classes, they don't keep you from pushing yourself further, and the courses offered at Leeds (that might be nothing like the ones offered back home!) translated well to my home university transcript.

There is so much to see in Leeds, from free museums to the beautiful architecture around campus to the street art you pass walking through Woodhouse Ridge. And the city is central in the country, so you're a coach ride away from Liverpool, a train from Cambridge, and a quick Uber to the airport so you can catch your flight to Paris. No matter where you go, Leeds is quick to capture your heart and feel like a second home.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I'm a planner, so being spontaneous during my trip to London was surprising. During the group excursion to the plague village of Eyam, API Leeds met with API London, and I made friends with a student intern. She let me stay with her for the couple days I was in London and made suggestions of what to do while I was there, but I would start my day finding her suggestion and then wander the city. I wanted to see the Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey, and by following the telephone booths and my curiosity, I stumbled upon these landmarks and so much more. It was really nice to go from having a strict coach and train schedule to no time but the present.
Default avatar
Mackenzie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Granada was the best city I could have chosen to study abroad in! It's the perfect size; you can walk everywhere you need, while also having the metro to take you to the bus or train station. With the Alhambra being Granada's claim to fame, there are people from all different countries always visiting the city. It has the perfect mix of old and new while also having incredible Moorish influences throughout the entire city.
I was finishing my Spanish minor while I was there, so I was enrolled in five courses related to Spanish history, grammar, and language. Also, most people only spoke Spanish, so I was really forced to learn the language in and outside of the classroom. I was super nervous before arriving but by the time I had to leave Granada I was able to communicate with anyone. The class sizes are very small so you’re able to practice your Spanish a lot and form great relationships with your professors. The classes were awesome, and the Center for Modern Language is in an adorable Spanish style building.

Overall, my experience in Granada is something I will always remember, and I can’t wait to go back.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Ox tail is a super popular Spanish meal and I tried it one night for dinner! It's kind of a fattier version of ribs - pretty good! Also, I tried blood sausage one day too. If you eat it with bread it's much better!!
Default avatar
Savanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you're looking for a place full of adventure, a place to improve your Spanish speaking skills, a place full of natural beauty, and a place that will push you out of your comfort zone, then Chile is the place for you! While abroad, I gained so much more than I expected. I learned so much about myself, and how to be on my own. I immersed myself in the country's history and culture.
I made lifelong relationships with classmates and my host family. I made business connections through an internship in the city, and I traveled the country every chance I got I don't think there is one thing I didn't gain throughout my semester. It was the greatest 6 months of my life!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
It won't be easy, but it will be 100% worth it. I had no idea how much I would learn about myself, others, and the world around me in one short semester. You are constantly surrounded by the craziness of a new language and a new culture, and are constantly being forced to break out of your comfort zone...but you grow so much as a person through that. You become more compassionate, more understanding, more knowledgeable, and more open to challenges and trying new things.
Default avatar
Bridget
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I studied abroad in Seville, Spain during the spring semester of 2019. I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life and I am so grateful for all of the time I was able to live abroad!

Living with a host family was the highlight of my experience. I lived with a older woman and her husband, but her husband was typically away living at their beach house. She only spoke Spanish- and my Spanish was not great upon arrival! We ate lunch and dinner together and that made my Spanish improve dramatically, as well as allowed us to bond. The Spanish people are very direct. I would say that it is more offensive to be wasteful of food and say you like it, than to say you don’t like it or don’t prefer it. To have a good relationship I think it is important to keep your room and area clean, to communicate directly, and to occasionally bring home little treats from travels (my host mom loved that!)

For a typical school day, I only went to school from 9-6, two days per week. I would have four classes throughout the day. They were blocks of about an hour and a half I believe! I would sit and eat lunch with my friends outside or run the track at the university.

The API excursions happened every so often, and were so fun! We got to stay in amazing places, like a Montessori! They provided educational and informational tours as well. They also arranged fun things for us to do in Sevilla, like go to the movies or attend a tile painting class.

I traveled outside of Spain quite frequently! I went to about 8 different countries, like Morocco, France, and Hungary. I would take the bus to the airport (it cost 4 euros) and then hop on a flight out of Sevilla! The flights were generally very inexpensive (like round trip to Italy for 30 euros).

I always felt safe in Sevilla. I would walk to and from my house very late a night with my roommate, and although we were on guard just in case, I never felt like I needed to be. Sevilla has more petty crime, like stealing bike tires, as opposed to violent crime. API was also so helpful when it came to safety and health. I was sick for about a week and needed to go to the doctor when I was there. My host mom called API and they arranged for a translator to be on the phone with me at the hospital. My host mom held my hand the whole time and I felt at peace because of the support around me provided by API.

Sevilla became my home, and it will always have a special place in my heart.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advise future attendees to soak up every opportunity! There were a few activities and nights out I surpassed because I was tired, but I would give anything to live those moments now!
Default avatar
Laura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Barcelona is full of life. The best decision of my life was to choose this location to study abroad. There are so many fun things to do in this one city, I still have items left on my bucket list! Not to mention how amazing the entire country and surrounding countries are. I took Mediterranean culture classes and lived with a host family, 2 things I highly recommend. Being open-minded took me far on my journey, and I have endless stories I can't stop sharing! It was also fun to constantly be thinking in more than one language.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was surprised at how safe I always felt! There was never a time I was concerned for my safety. Always stay alert and you will avoid pick pockets!