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IES Abroad Salamanca - Advanced Spanish Immersion
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IES Abroad Salamanca - Advanced Spanish Immersion

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

My year abroad

My experience in Salamanca was incredible. I was terrified to go abroad with a disability, but everyone at IES made me feel safe and comfortable. I learned so much Spanish, learned to be independent, and traveled by myself. This program was life changing and I would highly recommend it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Studying in Salamanca

I had an incredible experience in Salamanca during the Fall of 2016. The city itself is beautiful and has such a good atmosphere being a mix of a college and residential town. I lived in a homestay and still keep in touch with my host parents at least once a week. I highly recommend taking classes at the University itself and not just within IES to broaden your cultural experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The beauty of Salamanca

Salamanca is an incredibly beautiful city. Prior to my trip, I had never travelled to Europe. The beauty of Salamanca set my standards for the rest of Europe very high. Although Madrid, Paris, and Rome were beautiful, no other place during my travels compared to this city. The city is so well preserved that it is like stepping back in time. The first weekend I spent there left me completely in awe. I spent the first week going to class and then purposefully getting lost and exploring all of the hidden treasures of the city. The best way to explore is to just wander. The city is the perfect size to get lose without feeling unsafe. I recommend spending one day taking as many photos as you can and another day just taking in all of the parts of the city that can't be captured in a photo.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Spring in Salamanca (2016)

I had a wonderful time in Salamanca! The opportunity to take classes at USAL (la Universidad de Salamanca) was incredible, as well as the home stay that I had. The city is a beautiful place to live and has a great atmosphere that isn't as crowded as other cities but still provides plenty of things to do. Studying abroad is the greatest decision I have ever made, and would highly encourage others to study abroad as well!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Adventures with Brandon spring 2016 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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Semester in Salamanca

Studying in Salamanca was an incredible experience. Salamanca is a beautiful city with tons of history and awesome student life. The IES classes were all in Spanish, which was really helpful for language immersion. I loved the IES staff, and they planned great excursions. Additionally, staying with a host family was such a unique experience, and I highly recommend this option.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

True cultural immersion

Salamanca is a beautiful city full of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Walking to class everyday was in itself a magical experience as I passed by intricately constructed cathedrals, libraries, and university buildings. The IES staff welcomed us to Salamanca from the start with open arms. Every staff member was available 24/7 to answer questions or concerns and they really made me feel at home in a new place. They also offered cultural activities for free to do every single week that allowed me to see concerts, comedy shows, and more. In addition, the IES mentors became some of my closest friends while abroad. They helped me choose classes at the local university and gave me advice during orientation. Afterwards, I ended up planning a trip with some of the IES mentors because they were so friendly and easy to talk to. I think this is what made my study abroad experience truly unique. The IES classes were informative and the professors were extremely knowledgable. I would highly recommend this program for anyone looking to dive into the Spanish language and culture. I can say after leaving that I will most certainly be back because of my amazing experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

The Perfect Study Abroad Experience

My semester in Salamanca, Spain was as perfect as I could have imagined it. IES made sure to really take care of their students, ensuring that everything was as it was expected to be, and taking our comments and concerns into consideration. I felt comfortable in the IES center, and by the end of the semester, I felt that I really got to know everyone who worked there (including my professors and the graduate student who was working with them!).

I also felt that I really knew the city of Salamanca by the end of the semester. I was blown away by the beautiful gold buildings and the history of the city, and I was able to spend a ton of time exploring and getting to know the city in which I was living. My living situation also exceeded my expectations - my host mom was phenomenal, and she really took care of my housemate and I. She was always available to talk, and she taught us how to cook authentic Spanish dishes! Through my studies, my living situation, and my ability to get to know the city, I felt that I was really immersed in Spanish culture and given plenty of opportunities to speak Spanish.

I felt that this program allowed me to do and experience everything that I wanted. The academics were challenging, but still gave me enough time and freedom to learn more about Salamanca and explore the city. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to really strengthen their Spanish and become immersed in Spanish culture!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    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.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    5

The full cultural expirence

The IES Salamanca program is a holistic experience that is a full language and cultural immersion study abroad program. From the beginning, you are immersed in the language and are thrown into the daily life of Salamanca. Upon arrival my spanish was one of the weakest in the program however, through my home stay, classes in spanish, and daily use of the language it improved rapidly. IES Salmanca allowed me to have an incredible homsestay experience by pairing me with an compatible host mother. Due to this outstanding living situation I was able to fully immerse myself in family life as well as the community. I was able to integrate with Spaniards through the gym, hiking excursions, and a running group. Salamanca is about 2 hours away from Madrid because of this it is slightly more difficult to travel. This can be both beneficial and challenging. I was more encouraged to explore and travel within Spain rather than travel Europe every weekend. This allowed for more immersion, however it was also very easy to get to Madrid when I did travel outside of Spain. This program is definitely for the student who wants a small-mid sized city with great night life and culture. Its a walking community where everybody knows everyone which makes integration very easy and very condusive for language improvement.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Salamanca Fall 2015

My study abroad experience was nothing short of extraordinary- 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). There is no better way to improve your Spanish speaking, writing and reading capabilities than to be part a full immersion program like mine. Program directors, mentors, professors, and host family were always there to encourage us and assist us in any way possible. I fell in love with the Spanish culture and people- in short, Spain has stolen my heart and it’s only a matter of time until I find a way to return!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A decision you won't regret!

I came to Salamanca with very little expectations- I tend to over-idealize every thing I get excited for and in the end am always slightly disappointed because things aren't up to par with my runaway mind. Well, I almost wish that I HAD made expectations this time around, because my experience in Salamanca was unlike any other!

Salamanca is a small university city, meaning that you can walk EVERYWHERE. I'd only taken a bus once and been in a car a few times when I was out with larger groups or friends. Because of USAL and UPSA, the public and private universities, there are very many students from all over the world. I've met and made lifelong friends with locals, as well as with students from Portugal, Morocco, the UK, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany, China, South Korea, Mexico, and Brazil. Although Salamanca is physically small, never once did it feel that way, as there are always more people to meet and more nooks and crannies to explore! It is also an insanely gorgeous and an insanely clean city (the streets are power washed every morning). Also being a university city, Salamanca is relatively cheap- something I didn't realize until I traveled outside of the city/country!

The IES Program at Salamanca was awesome in many regards. I took three classes through the program with other IES students. All classes were conducted in Spanish, with professors from the university. The level of academics was a lot more rigorous than I expected, and the program classes required much more time and effort than my university classes did. I took my other two classes through USAL, the public uni, and was really fortunate to have these classes with good professors. I'd heard from other friends about bad experiences through the uni (professors won't stop students from talking/texting in class, local students being rude to international students in group work, etc), but both of my professors were very accommodating and my classmates were all friendly and helpful.

I also lived in a homestay with a fantastic elderly couple. Never at any point was I uncomfortable (although we all had to adjust to taking 5 minute showers!), and my host mom was a phenomenal cook. I felt that living in a homestay really exposed me to cultural differences between Spain and the US, especially as I learned to adjust to a completely different sleeping and eating schedule. My host parents also spoke no English, which really forced me to practice my Spanish- something I was super nervous about at first. The only housing preference I had put down was a non-smoking household. I ended up living a little further away from the program center than other students, but didn't mind the walk at all.

As for extra-curriculars, there are many, many activities to participate in outside of classes. The program does offer a service learning internship, which places students into organizations throughout the city. While I didn't participate in this, I explored different university groups and played volleyball with a group of friends in the Facultad de derecho within the university league tournament (much like intramurals).

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    8

Experiencia fenomenal

As a Spanish major and language enthusiast, it only made sense that I would study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, and after the recommendation from a professor and a little more research, I settled on Salamanca because of its history (it has the oldest university in Spain, dating back to the early 13th Century), its size (not a big city), and its connection to the Spanish language (it advertises itself as “La Ciudad de Español”). This was a fantastic decision.

I lived in homestay with a host mother and host brother. My host mother teaches Spanish to foreigners for a living. This wasn’t the case with everyone’s host families, but I couldn’t be more grateful that it was the case with mine. If I ever didn’t understand something, she was eager to help me understand the concept and would explain and explain in an effort to eliminate the need for a dictionary.

The classes were definitely challenging. Of all of them, the required language class is the most invaluable. The professors are some of the best I’ve had, and their approach to teaching is totally different from any traditional “grammar class” I’ve had in the U.S. Two great opportunities were the internship, which let me work in English classes at a local school, and the university classes, which not only taught me the material in the class, but also gave me the chance to say, “I did well in classes designed for native speakers,” which is a huge confidence booster.

Our program went on a number of trips, and I got to travel on my own. I chose to stay in Spain, so I had the chance to experience a number of cities and the process of planning transportation, lodging, and activities while managing to not go home broke. The abundance of cultural activities and ways to experience the culture in Salamanca ensured that there was always something to do.

The only thing I wish I had known prior to choosing Salamanca is that it’s an immersion program. That means the staff speaks predominantly in Spanish (though some of them do speak English) and all the courses offered are conducted in Spanish. This would’ve been a selling point for me had I known it, but it’s still good to know.

And to top off the experience, its Plaza Mayor is one of the most beautiful in Spain (Google it if you don’t believe me—it’s practically a fact).

As Cervantes said, "Salamanca, que enhechiza la voluntad de volver a ella a todos los que de la apacibilidad de su vivienda han gustado." Salamanca became like another home to me, and I’ve already started looking at ways to get back there.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

Four Months in Salamanca

The keyword for IES Abroad’s program in Salamanca is ‘balance.’ The setting itself is about as balanced as can be, uniting a classic Spanish university town with ancient architecture and a modern, bustling city like any other in Western Europe. Because of the constant influx of American and other European students into the population, Salamanca manages to possess something of the international flavor that you might find in larger Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, or San Sebastián, while imparting a more intimate and welcoming cast to one’s experience. There is no shortage of cultural programming in Salamanca, which consists mostly of literary discussions or readings and theatrical productions. I was able to see a very good performance of Verdi’s opera Nabucco in town for only thirty euro; a production of a similar caliber probably would cost in the hundreds of dollars in the U.S.

The nature of the program itself is also very finely tuned, as it effectively balances structure with freedom. The weeklong orientation program at the start of the semester is exhaustive (and often exhausting). However, as the semester progresses, it becomes clear that the program allows you to budget your time and plan your activities as you see fit. Nevertheless, the IES Abroad staff is always available should you need guidance with some aspect of life abroad, and the Center puts you in touch with cultural activities throughout the program, most of which are free. At least in my case, I felt that the level of counseling on classes that I received on picking classes was appropriate, although I did hear of some of my classmates having difficulties with university courses which are not frequently attended by foreign students. In particular, I cannot say enough about the mentoring program which connects local university students to IES Abroad participants—this was a major help in navigating the social scene in Salamanca.

In sum, I highly recommend IES Abroad Salamanca, with glowing reports for both the program and the city.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

Excellent experience! Great if you're searching for independence abroad.

If I could do it all again, I would choose IES Salamanca 10 times out of 10. The on-site staff was more than helpful, but were also great at giving students the space they needed/wanted to develop a sense of independence in the city. The location itself was excellent. Salamanca is the place to go if you are looking for an opportunity to learn and improve your Spanish and get involved in the culture. With a multitude of students, Salamanca is the ideal location to meet people, make friends and have fun (and it's not expensive either!). Through IES you have the option of direct enrolling in the Universidad de Salamanca or the Pontificia (the private university), which is something I would strongly recommend. Great program, great place!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

A Once in Lifetime Opportunity

Salamanca, Spain is a beautiful city that has it's own unique culture which allows students to truly immerse themselves during their time abroad. Many Salamancans do not speak English, which encourages that use of Spanish is everyday life. I lived in a home stay through IES and loved every minute of it. My host family was so caring, fun and friendly. They were always willing to help me whenever I had a problem or needed some help on my Spanish grammar assignment for the day. I thought that the IES Salamanca staff were wonderful and helpful. They also planned a lot of great excursions with my fellow IES peers. I truly cannot express how grateful I am to have experienced my time abroad through IES. It will always be a life long memory that I will carry with me. I encourage you to study abroad in Salamanca through IES!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

Student

I will always remember my four months in Salamanca as one of the absolute best times of my life. The city itself, in my opinion, is perfect for study abroad. It is easily walkable and feels safe, is very "authentic" (meaning no one will try to speak to you in English), filled with culture, caters to the young because of the university, and has an excellent nightlife. The program was great as well. We could virtually do anything we wanted as far as choosing classes, and IES is very helpful in adjusting to the culture and if anything goes wrong, they will take care of you. Also, they are good with planning events and fun things for students to do. The IES classes followed a more American structure, with more discussion based classes and more papers and tests, while the University of Salamanca classes I enrolled in were lecture based and had one test at the end of the semester. IES Salamanca was an unforgettable experience and I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in Spanish language and culture to do it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

Wonderful!

One of the best decisions I have ever made! Great way to meet new friends, both Americans and foreigners. Staff was awesome and helpful and we went on great excursions and trips! I wish I could go back every day. The people of Salamanca are very friendly and wonderful! Amazing place to live. Gorgeous and easily accessible to other places for travel.. 2 hour train ride to Madrid.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

Changed my life!

IES Salamanca is a well-organized program that will change your life. Salamanca itself was the most beautiful, inspiring place to live and study in ever!!! It was naturally nestled in a mountainous region surrounding it, with a beautiful river, lovely parks, and mostly ancient architecture. The Plaza Mayor is said to be one of the most beautiful plazas in all of Europe. There are more bars to people ratio than any other European city. Everything was surprisingly reasonably priced in terms of shopping and eating out, travel and transportation, nightlife (no cover fees at bars), taxis home if necessary etc. I felt it was very safe and extremely walkable. There was always something new to discover and explore (often free entrance for students). The IES program staff is wonderful at setting up a well-rounded experience for you catered to your interests. They helped students from everything from signing up for university courses to playing on university sports teams. The IES course offerings were broad and appropriately challenging, recognizing that much of the learning during study abroad happens out of the classroom. The staff planned wonderful special excursions so that we would see a lot of Spain and the staff in general was extremely helpful and approachable. The housing director did a great job placing all of us in homestays that wanted them (not one student was dissatisfied with his or her housing assignment and many of us stay in touch). I would highly recommend both this program and this location to students seriously interested in studying Spanish and getting acquainted with authentic Spanish culture in a gem of a city!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Community

    N/A

Max

IES Salamanca is absolutely a great experience. The classes are excellent and the professors really know what they're talking about. The nightlife is great; there are plenty of places to go and very good specials. I had an excellent experience with my hostmother. The cultural experience-- that was probably the #1 thing I got from studying abroad (besides complete immersion)-- is really rich and it introduces you to an entirely new and different way of life. Finally, the staff at the IES center are really really nice and helpful. They are also there for you when you need to ask them any question about anything, whether academic or about the culture.

I definitely recommend studying abroad with IES Salamanca.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    6

Solid Spanish university experience

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. 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. The course offerings were interesting and fairly easy.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Community

    8

Exploring the sandstone world of Salamanca

I first traveled to Spain when I was 16. I went to Madrid and absolutely loved it. I had intended on going to another country, but when I stumbled upon IES Salamanca program information, I knew I had to come back. Going to Salamanca was one of the best decisions I have made, because it is the perfect town for young adults to find themselves in an international space. Salamanca consists of two major, well-known universities which means there are a ton of young people from all over the world who came to study at these universities. I was able to meet new people, practice my Spanish and enjoy the cultural atmosphere of an amazing town. Salamanca is nice because it's safer than a city with just as many opportunities to have fun. There is a bus, but essentially everything is within walking distance. It also connects very easily with Madrid, so if you want to travel on the weekend, it's very manageable. I met some great people through IES and made friendships that will last a lifetime. I highly recommend this program!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

My time in Salamanca

Salamanca is known for its enriched history, centuries of culture and its acceptance of all people. In my first few hours in Salamanca, I was easily acclimated with the exhilarating environment of young students from multiple locations in the world along with the loving environment from the residents of Salamanca. I recommend Salamanca for any college student, but especially those who are hoping to become Spanish majors or minors. I miss Salamanca and all it has to offer every day and I hope to make it back there in the future.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    10

A wonderful, authentic semester in Salamanca, Spain

This past fall (2016) I had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Salamanca, Spain with IES Abroad. After four months there as well as talking upon return with many friends who studied abroad elsewhere with other programs, I must say I had an absolutely fantastic experience. While I could go on forever about all the positive experiences I had in Salamanca, I will highlight a few that make Salamanca with IES Abroad unique.

First, Salamanca is the the perfect city for a study abroad experience. There are limited tourists, but also plenty of activities to keep one busy. It is an absolutely gorgeous city and I also enjoyed that everyone spoke Spanish first rather than English. The nightlife is also as great as they advertise.

Another benefit of IES Abroad is the complete immersion in the Spanish culture. They offer an optional Spanish Club in which students pledge to speak only Spanish for the remainder of the semester. This improved my ability to speak Spanish more than I ever imagined. They also offer numerous activities to get involved with the local community and local students, as well as travel throughout the region. However, perhaps their best asset are the mentors they provide to help us integrate into the culture. These mentors are college-aged students from Spain who do things such as helping us with homework to showing us the best places to party. They helped make my abroad experience absolutely fantastic.

Finally, their host families are amazing. My Spanish mother was the sweetest women and an excellent cook. She always made me feel at home while also really showing me the intricacies of the Spanish culture.

The only reason I didn't give the program a 10 out of 10 was due to the difficulty of doing science/math classes at the university. While you can technically enroll in STEM classes (I wanted to take one for my biology major), they are difficult with respect to scheduling and previous relationships with the staff of these departments. Therefore, if you absolutely must study a science or math while abroad, perhaps a different program would suit you better. However, I was happy to take a semester off from science classes and fully immerse myself in language and literature classes at the University of Salamanca.

Overall, I would not do my abroad experience any different! Salamanca is a precious city, and IES Abroad does everything they can to make sure you experience it at its full potential.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community

    9

Great time in Salamanca

IES Abroad is a great program. I had a really good time and was fully immersed in the culture. My Spanish definitely improved over the semester and the program administrators were very kind and helpful.