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10:03, May 22, 2006
''Syracuse Program in Madrid''
Probably the best part of the program is its flexibility - if you want to take courses directly at a Spanish university, you can. If you want to take classes at the Syracuse program center in Madrid, well, you can do that too. You can take classes in English or in Spanish, and the course offerings are fairly extensive. SU will even help you find an internship in Spain! In general classes are very easy, but the quality of instruction is decent - if you try really hard, you might even learn something!
Host families are, like everywhere, hit and miss. The program is made up mostly of Syracuse students - apprarently the SU Madrid program is where all the rich kids go if they want to slack and party like crazy for a semester, if that helps give an idea of what a lot of the students are like. Don't expect deep class discussions.
The orientation programs at the beginning of the semester were interesting, and after 2 weeks of hard travel it felt really nice to settle down into a real house (well, apartment) and actually unpack. Mare Nostrum is probably the more academic orientation program, but it's also fairly difficult if you actually care about the grade (which you probably don't, so no worries!).
Overall, don't worry about your Spanish not being good enough for the Spanish classes - you would probably be fine taking all your classes in Spanish even with only two semesters under your belt. Unfortunately the Spanish classes at the program center aren't that hot, but it's pretty easy to pick things up along the way.
=== Japan ===
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