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Spain : Reviews (Arriondas)

The following program review responses have been selected for publication by University of Utah
Program Review for Website
Summer 2018 Participant
My host family became my second family and I can't wait to return to Oviedo and visit them again!


JAMES HARRIS, Summer 2018 Participant
My experience was exceptional and I know that a good deal of that is pure dumb luck. My host family could not have been better. The Oviedo professors were wonderful and the excursions were fantastic. I really liked our professors from the U or I would not have gone. I learned a lot about Spain and the people that I did not know before. I always have loved history and there is no country richer in history. Their civil war was horrific and not only that but there were about six of them and that does not include the Reconquista. Every day in every city you will see Ramones t-shirts and hear your favorite music from home. These people are my people and I never got tired of them. They have the second best life expectancy in the world and that is with a smoking rate of 30%. To give you an idea only Kentucky and West Virginia in the U.S. are comparable. Our overall rate is 17%, but they eat a very healthy diet, walk a lot and are close with family. They love their dogs so watch where you step. They love their seafood so know that the veggie salad probably has tuna. They smoke by the doors and windows of public buildings, but I see the same thing in the states. Breakfast and dinner are light. Lunch is big. Snacks are important. The vegetarian fare is sparse in Asturias, but you can manage and in the big cities there are many vegan restaurants. The food in general is much better than ours. I suppose that it is their standards. Like they have Coca Cola, but there is no high fructose corn syrup. Their cattle are grass fed. Their pigs are acorn fed, many of them. The egg yolks are bright yellow and really fresh. The fish, cheese, fruits and vegetables are the best that I have eaten. You do not lack for good domestic wine and beer. You have the world wide web so you are not isolated. The mountains were a pleasant surprise for me. It is the second most mountainous country in Europe. They are always cleaning. The city cleaners work day and night. The transportation is very good. Taxis are cheap. Buses and trains are very good. One word of advice: do not take a train through Madrid Atocha station if you can help it, unless you have at least an hour to find the next train. It is a huge station and the platform schedule goes up about 20 minutes in advance and the floor entrance where you queue for ticket check is sometimes different than the platform. I missed two trains there, because the trains often go through Madrid. I say the bus is better. You have comfortable seats, a toilet and storage underneath. Overall, you will like traveling in Spain without a car, especially if you pack light. The one thing I wished that I had had was a tablet. My laptop weighs a bloody ton and of course you need to keep that secure in a backpack. I learned how to travel light this trip and how little I really need. It was a long two months from home, but I have no regrets. I would definitely do it all over if I have the chance.


Summer 2018 Participant
I loved this program. I just feel like there would have been more cultural immersion if the people who are taking the upper level classes were in the same class as native Spanish speakers.


Summer 2018 Participant
This program was absolutely amazing and I loved every minute of it. The city of Oviedo is a perfect place to study abroad because you can walk everywhere, few people speak English so you get to practice Spanish all the time, and it is extremely clean and safe. Best experience ever!


Summer 2018 Participant
This was an absolutely life-changing opportunity to live within the community of Oviedo, Spain. I would highly recommend this program to any student wishing to further their Spanish-speaking abilities abroad!


ASHLEY FLORES, Summer 2019 Participant
The summer program to Oviedo is a wonderful program that really allows you to have the opportunity to gain a new level of Spanish while also becoming immersed within the Spanish culture. I learned so much from everyone I met, from the professors and students to the random store owners I met. I constantly felt like I was learning and becoming a new person. Being in Oviedo, allowed me to see a new culture while also getting the chance to be apart of it. I will always remember my time in that beautiful Spanish city.


ANNIE JOSEPH, Summer 2019 Participant
Oviedo was a wonderful experience. I made a great deal of progress with my Spanish while I was abroad, and I loved getting to know a new place and a new culture. I would go out and explore the city with my friends, and I loved seeing all of the old, historical buildings. Living with a host family was a great way to see true Spanish culture, and even though it was intimidating at first it was very rewarding in the end. I hope that I can go back to Oviedo one day, and enjoy some tapas while getting to practice my Spanish again with the locals.


MARIAH jennifer MARTIN, Summer 2019 Participant
This program was the best experience I have ever had. I loved every minute of it and immersing myself in the Spanish Culture helped me learn more about Spanish than ever before. During my experience, I ended up having to switch host families to have a better experience. Never be afraid to let someone know if you want to switch host families because it can change everything in such a positive way. Going to Spain, I wanted to have the best experience possible in and out of school. Be bold and make sure you are doing all you can to make your experience worthwhile.


SAVANNAH TORMAN, Summer 2019 Participant
This program was truly life-changing. The language and cultural immersion were exactly what I needed at this point in my academic career to help supplement everything I have learned so far. The classes only helped me to improve my skills, and I was matched with the most incredible host family. I would recommend a language immersion program to anyone who is interested in learning or improving in a foreign language!