IES Abroad Salamanca - Advanced Spanish Immersion

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About

The program allows you to be involed in the academic and social life of the Universidad de Salamanca (USAL), the oldest university in Spain and one of the most prestigious in Europe. Learn alongside your Spanish peers by enrolling at USAL or the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (UPSA). Regardless of your major, you may combine your interests in linguistic and cultural proficiency with your academic pursuits.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 27 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 27
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Eric
10/10

Fantastic experience!

Thank you for opening my eyes to history. You have taught me that world history is not just a series of important dates, but rather that it can be a key resource to both look into the future and understand more about who we are as people. You challenged my understanding of the world and truly opened my eyes to a series of new worldviews. Thank you for everything over the course of the last month and a half, you all made this experience the best of my life.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Peter
8/10

I love Salamanca!

IES Abroad Salamanca runs a good program. All of the staff members know their stuff and will be there to help you with all the practical details of life abroad. At the same time, the staff are personable and put a lot of effort into getting to know you as an individual. I particularly appreciated the efforts of the staff when my computer and wallet got stolen (Salamanca isn’t dangerous, I was just being stupid); due to the timely help I received from the staff at the IES center, I was eventually able to recover all of my lost items. The academic programs provided by IES are fairly easy but generally interesting, but you can also enroll at USAL (the public university) or UPSA (the private university), which is a big plus for those looking for maximal cultural and linguistic immersion. Salamanca is also a great city to study in. The size is perfect, the Castilian Spanish is easily comprehensible, and there is a big student population which keeps things lively. The only downside might be the winter weather, which is quite cold.

How can this program be improved?
The process of course registration is kind of painful. Other than that, the program is pretty flawless.
Yes, I recommend this program
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William
9/10

Sueños de Salamanca

Salamanca was a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait to go back and visit again. I am really grateful to the IES program for giving me a strong basis for exploring Spain and Spanish culture. The homestay was one of the best experiences-living with a local family, being immersed in the culture almost 24/7 helped me adjust quickly and start experiencing Spanish culture less as a tourist and more as a temporary resident.
I do have a couple regrets though. In taking classes at the University of Salamanca, I met a lot of Spanish friends, and got to know them and Spanish people my age better, but I wish I had spent more time with them. I think that one of the best ways for me to improve my Spanish is to spend it surrounded by native speakers, and my friends were always enthusiastic to spend time with a foreigner. Of course, I did enjoy my classes at the IES center, but there I wasn’t as immersed in Spanish culture as I wanted-my classmates were fellow Americans, and the classes were presented in an American style. Although we did have Spanish teachers, and the American style was to help us adjust, I would have preferred taking more classes at the Spanish university.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kelli
10/10

Studying in Salamanca

I have absolutely no complaints about this program. The city itself is a truly magical place to be, it's the perfect mix of a college and residential town with stunning architecture. There are tons of places to eat, museums to visit, and seats to people watch. As far as academics I recommend taking classes at the University of Salamanca in addition to IES courses. This is a better way to get a feel for the true Spanish student culture. I lived with a host family and spent a lot of time with them during meals and free time. I still keep in touch with them, as well as foreign friends I have made almost every day!

How can this program be improved?
The only suggestion I have is to extend the Sevilla/ Granada trip.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Grant
9/10

An Unforgettable, Authentic Semester

Wow... thanks to IES Abroad I had an absolutely amazing semester in Salamanca, Spain. Upon returning from abroad, many classmates who had gone to other places with other programs mentioned the difficulty of truly feeling like they were experiencing their host country's real culture. In contrast, IES Abroad did a great job of helping me experience an authentic semester in Salamanca through their mentoring programs with local university students, amazing host families, as well as opportunities to explore the culture in Salamanca as well as Spain at large. I would recommend this program to anyone who really wants to feel immersed in a different culture and learn to appreciate it. While it sounds cliche, I have a much more global perspective upon returning from Spain and appreciate the subtle differences of each culture even more. Neither the US culture nor the Spanish culture is better... they are simply different, each with their own pros and cons. To this day, I continue to talk with both American and Spanish friends I made while abroad, WhatsApp my host mom, read El País, and listen to Reggaeton. I made so many unforgettable memories while abroad, and can't wait to visit Salamanca once again.

How can this program be improved?
Originally, I wanted to take a class at the University of Salamanca for my biology major. However, upon arrival I learned that the program did not have extremely strong relationships with the STEM departments at USAL, so it was more difficult to take these classes. Ultimately, I ended up dropping my paleontology class after a couple weeks as we could not keep up and the professors were not accustomed to ERASMUS/US students. Therefore, I think if IES could enhance these relationships and make it easier to study STEM-related classes, this program would be perfect.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brandon
10/10

Adventures with Brandon in Salamanca, Spain

Making the decision to study with IES abroad in Salamanca, Spain during my spring semester of 2016 was one of the greatest decisions of my life. Having studied abroad with a different institution in Madrid during the fall semester of 2015, I was well prepared to start the second semester of my abroad experience in a totally different city that carried with it a very historically unique college-town vibe. Being just one of two incumbents familiar to the study abroad experience, I enjoyed my role in being able to assist other students with their endeavors alongside the incredible teaching and administrative staff of IES abroad Salamanca.

Granted I knew what to expect in regards to studying abroad and its learning process, Salamanca itself was a city that I had visited just once before and was not all that familiar with. The administrative staff and group of Spanish student mentors at the local university assisted myself along with the other study abroad students in every step of the way, from picking us up at the airport, to walking us through orientation to hosting our fare-well departure ceremony at the programs end. At times I did feel as if my freedom was cut short to meet this program’s expectations, however, these mandated obligations such as frequent meetings with IES abroad teachers and administration regardless of need did nothing but bring out the best in me over the course of this program.

Though I did not get as many opportunities to travel Europe as I had the semester prior, there is nothing I would have changed about my overall experience with IES Abroad. In electing to directly enroll in the University of Salamanca and to live in the dormitories with Spanish natives, I was assured to have the most authentic, culturally immersed experience possible over the course of this 16-week program.

The most difficult part of this experience was not the beginning, but rather the end. Finals were difficult and adaptation can be rocky, but saying goodbye to some of the best friends I had ever made and leaving the peers who enabled me to achieve what
I had achieved was the most difficult of all. Nonetheless, on the plane ride home in reflection of everything that I had accomplished it was evident that this experience was without a doubt beyond worthwhile.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Anne
10/10

The Plaza at Sunset

My favorite place in Salamanca is Plaza Mayor. It's the main gathering place where you can go to cafes, see public demonstrations, meet up with friends under the big clock, and just admire the stunning architecture. My first full day in Spain, I was walking around with (new) friends and we happened to be in the plaza just when it got dark enough for the lights to turn on. The moment the lights turned on, there was a collective gasp through out the square.

I had the privilege of happening to be in the plaza when the lights turned on about four more times throughout the semester, and each time I couldn't help but gasp at the beauty and very clear reminder to stop and be in awe of where I was. Salamanca was more beautiful than I could have imagined, and I'm beyond glad I spent a semester there.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Korrinne
10/10

Semester in Salamanca

Studying in Salamanca was one of the best decisions I ever made! I loved being immersed in a completely new culture and language for 4 months. IES Abroad did an awesome job of helping me to be immersed in Spanish through a homestay option, classes in all Spanish, awesome language professors, and opportunities to engage deeper with the culture. Additionally, the IES Abroad staff in Salamanca are so helpful and friendly. I will miss seeing their faces everyday! I highly recommend this program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Kim
10/10

Stepping out of my Comfort Zone

I wanted to step out of my comfort zone with studying abroad. For me, that meant choosing a program that would fully immerse me in the Spanish culture and force me to use my Spanish as much as possible. I feel extremely lucky to have chosen to study at IES Abroad Salamanca because it provided me with the opportunities to do both. In my literature class, I got to go on field trips through the city to learn the meaning behind the Renaissance and Baroque architecture. This hands-on learning made me appreciate the beauty of the city while remaining actively engaged in my studies. Having the opportunity to study at the local university along with taking IES classes allowed me to challenge myself by taking courses with local Spanish students and at the same time, take courses with other study abroad students to make me feel more comfortable. The IES staff and mentors are amazingly helpful with any questions and are extremely welcoming. I recommend this program for anyone who really wants a full immersion into Spanish life. I will certainly be returning to Salamanca again!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Darby
10/10

Salamanca Fall 2015

My semester abroad was four of the most rewarding months of my life- I made new friends, improved my Spanish and became a more cultured and open-minded person. While abroad, I took classes both through my program and at a local university (Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca). As part of a full immersion program, I can attest to the fact that there is no better way to learn a language than to be put into situations where you have to use it. The amount of confidence that I have when speaking has increased so much from my time in Spain. Our program offered a great support system and any questions or concerns we had were dealt with immediately. I'm so glad I decided to go outside my comfort zone and study abroad- I wouldn't trade my experience for anything!

How can this program be improved?
I wish we were given more info about how to travel to and from Salamanca, given that Salamanca is a smaller city, traveling, if you weren't using the right services could be hectic.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Molly
8/10

Vida en Salamanca

The old town of Salamanca looks like something out a fairy tale, which makes for an amazing backdrop for immersing yourself in the Spanish language and culture (because you will be forced to speak Spanish and take siesta).

While my time here wasn't perfect (and if anyone tells you that their study abroad experience is perfect they are lying) I would not trade it for anything, I loved the people I met, my host parents who made me feel at home, and all of the opportunities I was able to take advantage of (from travelling in and outside of Spain, to exploring Salamanca).

How can this program be improved?
The IES classes were fairly easy (workload wise), but of that workload a large portion was concentrated in the last week and a half of classes which was stressful. It also would have been nice to have a program calendar available to students sooner so that we can begin to plan our travel.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rebecca
10/10

Salamanca Fall 2015

If you really want to improve your Spanish, come to Salamanca. I came to this city not having taken a Spanish class in the year before I arrived and was extremely nervous about my four months abroad! The wonderful thing about Salamanca is that the locals here WILL speak Spanish to you- we tried using English our first week and quickly discovered that we would be culturally immersed, whether we liked it or not! Fortunately, my entire experience in Salamanca was absolutely incredible and unlike any other. I lived in a homestay and got along really well with my host parents (not to mention that my host mom was an amazing cook!). The classes offered by IES were surprisingly rigorous, but really forced you to learn and think in Spanish. The lengua class in particular deviated from a "standard" grammar class, and it was really cool seeing both my level and my classmates' levels of Spanish grow throughout the semester. I took 2 classes through the university as well and got to experience an entirely different academic culture with Spaniards and other international students.

Aside from academics, Salamanca is a fun, fun place to be in. There's always something going on, and Thursday and Saturday nights are full of students going out. There are lots of opportunities to meet other students from all parts of the world. USAL has student groups and clubs for all sorts of activities- I played volleyball while I was abroad and had the greatest time ever!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jessica
9/10

IES Salamanca

The IES Salamanca program provided me with experiences of a lifetime. The staff is supportive and understanding, and added so much to my semester abroad.

In terms of classes, the required language intensive courses are well-planned and helped me both improve my grammar and increase my confidence with the language. Upon arrival, you are required to take a language placement test, and will be put into one of three levels. Each of the classes is catered towards the level you are placed in, and the small class size is ideal for touching up on grammar concepts.

Although a homestay is not required, I highly recommend it if given the opportunity. It is a chance to fully integrate with locals, eat traditional foods, and come back everyday to a loving family. My homestay experience surpassed by expectations.

Overall, I highly recommend spending the semester in Salamanca. The college town atmosphere is extremely welcoming, the architecture is beautiful, and the city is full of history. You won’t regret it!

How can this program be improved?
More information on classes prior to the start of the semester.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lauren
10/10

Salamanca: An Authentic Spanish Experience

The IES Salamanca program is an impressively organized and supportive institution that is truly dedicated to giving students a well-rounded and unforgettable abroad experience. I had heard outstanding reviews about the program before I even went, and now, after my own experience, I can confidently say that the Salamanca program is really that of high quality. This program really excels at giving students a dynamic experience that encourages academic excellence as well as cultural immersion.

The IES professors are fantastic! The classes are both engaging and challenging. In particular, the language classes are truly outstanding. From my language classes, I gained a whole new level of confidence in my ability to speak and understand the language. In addition to traditional grammar lessons, we learned colloquial terms & phrases, cultural etiquette, and gestures. The language classes are very well-rounded courses that are designed to help students academically and culturally understand the language.

I had a very good homestay experience. It was great to live with a host mother and to experience the rich culture through that perspective. Upon arriving in Salamanca, I was under the impression that my host mother would treat me just like part of the family and that she would have as much interest in my culture as I had in hers. Unfortunately, this was not the case as my host mother has hosted 5 students a year for the past 10 years and is very accustomed to having American students stay with her. Although my host mother was truly a fantastic woman, I very much felt like I was just renting a room from her. This was not a bad experience at all, it was just different from what I was anticipating.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Salamanca program. Such a strong program in a beautiful and historic city! I wouldn’t have wanted to study anywhere else.

How can this program be improved?
I think the homestay experience could be improved by requiring the host families to independently engage their students in cultural activities.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Loren
10/10

Amazing experience

My time in Salamanca, Spain wouldn't have been the same without my host family. IES placed me with an amazing host family that really made me feel at home. They took me out around town, brought me out to tapas bars that the locals love, brought me to family events to truly be emerged in the culture, and always were there to help me in any way I needed. They made Salamanca a second home for me.

How can this program be improved?
More interaction with locals and local facilities and less written work and reading.
Yes, I recommend this program

About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...