For my study abroad experience, I chose the UA in Spain program. One of my favorite parts about this program was that we got to explore other locations as well as just Madrid. Our Saturday excursions were some of the most enjoyable adventures of the trip. It was very exciting that these trips were included in our experience. For the first month of the program, we got to visit Toledo, Segovia, and El Escorial. In each of these locations, we got a private tour as well as free time to explore on our own. This allowed us to both learn about the area and appreciate it by finding our own preferred activities (mine often being food). My friends and I all really appreciated these opportunities to see more of Spain!
I also did some additional travel during and after the program. To do this, I bought a four day Eurail pass. For $200, this allowed me four days of travel anywhere I wanted on the trains. For each of these days, I got unlimited travel within the length of that day. One of my days, I went to Seville to visit a friend that was doing another study abroad program. On this day, I just took the train there and back to Madrid. However, in my few days of solo travel in Italy after the program, I was able to go from Florence to San Gimignano to Pisa and back in one day. This pass can be whatever you make of it, and it is easy to figure out what you need to do or where your train is through the app. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wishing to do more travel than your program includes! I was very thankful to be able to add this on to my trip for a few days.