Mesmerized by Sevilla Past Review

By (Advertising., Marist College) for

API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Universidad Pablo de Olavide

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I only wish I could do it all over again. I often dream about my time in Sevilla and the people I met there- many of whom I still keep in contact with and consider my best friends. To sum up how much I would love to go back, I'll tell you about a dream I had recently (although it is a full year after I studied abroad). My friends from the program and I went back to Europe for our spring break, but when we went to fly home, we missed our plane. However, instead of freaking out, I was actually secretly happy to have missed the plane. My roommates and I decided to return to our residencia and visit our senora. The dream ended with us sitting in the house we lived in and loved for four months, and debating with each other if we should just forget about going back home and stay there for ANOTHER semester. I looked at my friends and said, "Guys, let's just do it. Let's do another semester." Obviously, this was the point where I woke up and was disappointed to realize I wasn't spending another semester in Spain. Study abroad was the most worthwhile thing I think I have ever done. I do not regret any of the money or time I spent that semester because it gave me something so valuable- a fresh perspective on the world.

Review Photos

API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Pablo de Olavide University Photo API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Pablo de Olavide University Photo API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Pablo de Olavide University Photo API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Pablo de Olavide University Photo API (Academic Programs International): Seville - Pablo de Olavide University Photo

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Pablo de Olavide
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Pablo de Olavide is great for students who are not fluent in Spanish just yet ;) but want to take Spanish classes so they can improve! Pablo allows you to take classes taught in English and Spanish. The grading system is a bit different- it's done on a scale of 1 to 10- and it was a little harder to get an A than back in the states! However, every professor I had was available and willing to help me with anything I needed. The professors are all very enthusiastic about what they are teaching and are in tune to our needs as study abroad students!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My API directors- Marta and Pilar- were awesome. Not only would they help you with anything specific to the university or the API program but were also in tune to more personal struggles anyone may have experienced. There are some difficulties to studying abroad that people may not always highlight, such as some homesickness, and my program directors were very sympathetic and always willing to talk to whoever may have wanted/needed comforting. They would speak with us in Spanish to help us practice, but if there's something we really couldn't understand, they broke it down for us in English to make it more clear.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a residencia with 5 other American students for the entire program duration. For a month, 2 female, Spanish grad students lived with us, and for the last 2 months of the program, a Spanish student attending the Universidad de Sevilla lived with us. The owner of the house, my senora, also lived there- but she owned a few other residencias too so she wasn't always there. I LOVED living in a residencia because it gave me truly the best of both worlds- I was living in a house, exposed to the real feel of a Spanish home and neighborhood, but at the same time had the comfort of living similar to the dorm style I was used to back home because the 5 Americans I lived with quickly became my good friends.

* Food:

The food provided for us was good- some meals I liked better than others. The woman who cooked our meals, Fatika, made this awesome dish that was two fried eggs, not too runny but not too hard, perfectly medium, and white rice with a tomato-based sauce to go with it. It was amazing and I became addicted. I would get so excited when she made it. Some of the other meals she made weren't always my favorite but the ones I did love made up for it. My friends and I also found this kebab place, not too far from our house, that we went to for lunch or dinner almost every Sunday. I would give anything for one of those kebabs right now.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The excursions API took us on were all great but especially the excursions to Paris and Granada. I still cannot even believe they were included in the program. Granada is a place EVERYONE should go- in a nutshell, because of the free tapas that come with every bottle of wine you get. That aspect in itself makes Granada a novelty. Paris, too, was somewhere I may not have chosen to go independently but was so appreciative that API took me there. The Eiffel Towel truly is NOT given justice in pictures- you have to see it yourself. Both weekends in Paris and Granada were so well organized- great hotels, great activities during the day, and the perfect amount of free time to explore and go out!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt safe in Sevilla, but I still took necessary safety precautions that everyone should. Girls should try to wear purses that go across their body, and keep the zipper toward their body. And also- UTILIZE THE BUDDY SYSTEM. Never put a friend in a cab alone at night or go somewhere alone when it doesn't feel safe. As long as your smart about unsafe situations, you will always be safe in Sevilla.

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


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I could practice the language with my professors, with Spanish speaking students at Pablo, with my senora (the owner of my residencia), and any other Spaniard I may have met during my travels! In Sevilla, the younger people were mostly able to speak English but most people are not speaking it- especially in stores and restaurants. This helped me improve SO MUCH because it prompted me to practice and to throw away my nerves when it comes to speaking.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Studying abroad with API is the best study abroad program. They make you as fully prepared as you can possibly be, but also help you understand that you WILL experience things that are impossible to prepare for- but that's the true beauty of studying abroad. Learning how to deal with certain challenges and being suprised by new things every day and two things I can guarantee will happen when you study abroad with API.