6 Ideas to Get the Best Out of Your Study Abroad Experience in Spain

If you’ve decided to study Spanish in Spain, how can you be sure that you get the most from your experience?  What things should you have in place from the outset?  What means success to you?  Well, that makes three questions and they all come together to make sure you achieve your desires in your study abroad experience.

Forward planning is a must in achieving success, though some people do believe that they can achieve just as much by winging it.  However, when you are about to move into foreign waters, it does pay to look into what your new life could be about, so as to be sure that you don’t find yourself in a place you later realise you don’t want to be.

spanish regions- image by www.allserialdl.com1. Spain is a huge country and big enough to have different climates and different languages, so knowing which area will suit you most is the first thing to be sure of. Knowing the time of the year in which you wish to take your Spanish study course will help you identify weather conditions in the different areas and whether such conditions will suit you.  For example, the majority of non-Spanish foreigners believe that the sun shines every day in Spain and don’t realise that winter in the north means hazardous driving conditions due to snow and ice. Though rare, it can sometimes snow in the south too, so make sure weather awareness is a card you play in choosing your location because, let’s face it, if you’re not comfy, you’re not going to be open to new experiences.

2. Which university should you choose? If we narrow our search to four of the very best, namely, Madrid, Malaga, Salamanca and Barcelona, what courses do these universities offer and which is the right one for you? Knowing where you already are on the learning ladder will help you find the right level for you, so that you can fit in comfortably and begin to move upwards.  And what facilities does the university have available to students?  GoStudySpain have done all of this homework for the eager student, so it’s an excellent place to start looking.

sagrada familia- image by nextours.wordpress.com 3. How easy is it to get suitable, and affordable, accommodation in the city which you favour and what is the cost of living, regarding food, transport and availability of other points personal to your requirements? Do you want your own place, with all cooking and cleaning your own responsibility, do you want shared accommodation, or would you like to live with a host family and enjoy some of the creature comforts you’ve already grown accustomed to?  Once again, GoStudySpain can help you with these needs, meaning that you are ready from the very outset and good to go.

4. Also, what do the cities themselves offer the student who wishes to have a whole experience of the Spanish language, its people and its culture? Which places must you visit (e.g. museums, monuments and historical landmarks) and where are the best restaurants and meeting points? Are you happy with these, or is there something missing from your list of ‘must haves’.

5. What about local businesses and industries? Once you have succeeded with your language training, could any of these help you with your future?  While in your chosen university city, getting to know what jobs are available for bi-lingual jobseekers will be a good starting point for securing work in a place that you already feel comfortable in. Going that extra mile and approaching companies as to familiarisation visits will help you register an interest before the fact, which can’t be a bad thing.

spanish fiesta- image by www.noozhawk.com6. And what about you, personally? Work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and well, let’s face it, there will be times during your stay when you want to enjoy something which isn’t part of ‘whole Spanish’ experience.  Maybe you want to simply enjoy an ordinary something which keeps you grounded to your normal self, whether it’s the comfort of fish and chips, a bicycle ride, or a chance to phone or skype home at an affordable price.

It’s strange but, when you find yourself in that new place, you may find that there is something that you really miss and it didn’t come to mind earlier.  So forward planning is a must, don’t you think, to get as close as possible to your ideal location.  If you’ve dotted all of the ‘I’s and crossed all of the ‘T’s, success is most certainly within your grasp.