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Spain

Name: Elizabeth Edwards
Email: eyedwards2@yahoo.com 
Major: International Management/Spanish

Study Abroad Period: Spring 2002
University Attended: Universidad de Valladolid
Country: Spain
Class: Senior

The university provided a beneficial orientation program upon arrival: Agree
The university provided opportunities for those native to the Country: Strongly Agree
The Language barrier was easy to overcome: Disagree
The university explained the country's educational system (grading scale, assessment, teaching style, etc ): Agree
Overall quality of the university met my expectations: Agree
Overall learning experience met my expectations: Agree
I experienced little or no culture shock upon my arrival: Disagree
I experienced little or no culture shock upon my return home: Agree

Please rate your experience overall: Excellent

What would have better prepared you for your study abroad experience?:
More language classes!!!

What are the most significant things you learned while abroad?:
I increased my knowledge of the Spanish language and culture, but most of all I learned a lot about myself. You really test your mental and emotional strengths when you are thrown into an environment where you don't know anyone and you aren't able to communicate as well as you would like.

Would you recommend going abroad to other students?:
Studying in Spain has probably been the best experience of my life thus far. I learned so much about myself and also made some great friends.

What suggestions would you offer to other students going abroad in the future? :
Don't think that you can't afford to study abroad. My program cost about as much as a semester at Ship, minus travel costs while I was there. Look for cheaper programs because they are available. The most important thing is to be open-minded!!!! The "US way" of doing things is not universal and not always the best way either.

How difficult was it for you to adapt to the environment?:
Kind of difficult in the beginning just because of the whole language barrier. I lived with a family that spoke no English, which was a large obstacle to overcome. But after about 3 weeks of being completely immersed in the language and the culture, I felt comfortable with my surroundings.

Give us an idea of class availability, recommended course load, and what class you took while abroad:
I took 18 credits when I was in Spain, and the actual content of the classes was really easy! The hardest part was that all of my classes were in Spanish, so in the beginning, I didn't understand anything. But the actual work content was a lot less than here. I had maybe 1 hour of homework per week. But then again, I took all Spanish classes, not business classes.

Looking back, provide us with some tips on how you would improve your experience:
I can't really think of anything that would improve my experience. I had lots of good times and a few bad times, but all of the experiences helped shape my experience. EVERYONE SHOULD STUDY ABROAD!

Tuition Cost: $2500
Room & Board Cost: $2500
Amount of Airfare: $550
Approximate Cost of Semester Travel: $1500