Academic Year in Seville December 19, 2017

By (Western Washington University) - abroad from 09/18/2017 to 05/12/2017 with

API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Universidad de Sevilla

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about being independent while studying in Seville, and I made lifelong friends. I felt very supported by the API program staff, but also like I was living in a foreign country on my own, which is something I wanted out of my experience. API was the most affordable option that I found, while also including so much more in their program than others. The excursions are incredible! I was also able to immerse myself in the local culture, in large part due to my host family. I did a lot of independent traveling, which I feel has made me a much more confident and also taught me a lot about myself, and the importance of having an open mind and being flexible. My Spanish also improved quite a bit over the course of the program, in particular my listening and conversation skills.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were challenging in that many of them were long lectures entirely in Spanish, but the workload was very manageable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was very helpful and supportive. I once had a package get stuck in customs once, and the on-site staff helped me resolve the situation.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I chose to live with a host family in Seville, and I think that this really added to my overall experience. My family consisted of a host mom, a host grandmother, and a host uncle. I also had an American roommate, another student from API. The family provided all of our meals, and also provided a lot of helpful information about the city. If you are looking to really improve your Spanish, choosing to live with a host family is the way to do it! I ate most of my meals at home, which meant a lot of my time was spent in Spanish conversation with my host mom. For me, the only downside was that I wasn't able to use the kitchen at all.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My classes were all with other Americans in the program, which meant that I made great friends but also that I didn't meet many Spaniards at the university. If I hadn't lived with a host family, I think I would have had a much more difficult time becoming integrated with the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues during the program.

* Safety:

I always felt very safe in Seville!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

My experience in Seville with API exceeded my expectations.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Living with a host family meant that all of my meals were included, so any money I spent during the week was entirely dependent on whether or not I was traveling or eating out.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Eating out is fairly affordable in Spain (most meals less than $10 including a drink), so if I went out once or twice a week I would spend about $20.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you plan to travel, budget at least $300 per weekend trip, including flight and hotel costs. This was the average for my weekend trips. Some places, of course, are more expensive! Using websites like Kiwi to find the cheapest flight routes really saved me - I had a couple long layovers, but saved over $100 in some cases.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Some of the on-site staff spoke Spanish with me, so that encouraged me to speak in Spanish. My host family didn't speak English, so that was where I got most of my language exposure outside of school.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish 202
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Live with a host family, and take courses in Spanish! I took some courses in English, but most in Spanish. The Spanish lectures really improved my listening skills.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Affordability
  • Course Offerings
  • Excursions
* What could be improved?
  • More support for academic year students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It can be difficult to make friends with the new student arrivals your second semester, as you are much more integrated into the host city than they are. If I could do it again, I would have studied abroad in a different city each semester.