The academics of this program were most definitely intensive, we covered more in a day than I would have in a month at school back home, the teachers were there to help, as long as you asked in spanish! :)
My program leader had all of us program his number into our phones immediately when we arrived, and could be at any place at any time if a student needed help. If there was a smaller issue a quick text away was a quick and helpful answer.
I LOVED! my homestay! I will admit at first I wanted my own place when I saw it was an option, I have everyone to thank for not letting me do that! My house mother was the nicest woman ive ever met and was there for me and my three roommates at any given time. Yes, that even means getting spoon fed chicken noodle soup on a sick day off school! The house was in a great location and incredibly comfortable. A home away from home.
I am the pickiest eater of them all, so a 5 star sounds impossible but the food blew my tastebuds away! the home meals, the resturants/local food, and yes even the school food. I never once went a day not feeling completely stuffed.
After living in any city for a month you start to feel integrated, I knew my way around subways and buses and the major neighborhoods of the city by the time I was done! No help necessary. The language barrier was the only reason I couldn't quite ever feel too welcomed. Besides that I now feel as I wouldnt mind living there as a local one day and I could talk about the culture for hours, as it is so different from my own.
One day I felt very sick, feverish and just too weak to get to school. Without even having to notify my housemother who spoke no english, she realized I was not well and kept me in bed all day giving me proper medications after asking if I was allergic to anything. We made the good call to wait until the end of the day to head to the doctor and lucky for me whatever I was given helped enough and I was good to go by the next day with no doctor needed, and my program director and parents were already notified of my illness before I even got the chance to do it myself.
I almost never felt unsafe. I had a safe wonderful trip but the only thing to watch out for was pickpocketers, a couple kids on the trip had items taken in common public places without noticing for a while.
They more than prepared me, the only thing they did not do was tell me how to not be so excited! Not a bad thing at all :)