The Best Semester of my College Years! March 27, 2020

By (Point Loma Nazarene University) - abroad from 01/21/2019 to 05/15/2020 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to get outside my comfort zone even when I did not want to. It was worthwhile to try new things and take experiences back with me!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses at Pablo Olavide were engaging, interesting, and challenging! I learned so much from my Spanish professors, including how to adapt to a different teaching style in a different cultural context than I am used to here in the States. We were expected to come to class ready to listen and engage.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program administrators on site were so helpful and kind! Their office was located about 5 minutes walking distance from my house. Any time we had questions, we were able to pop into their office. We were able to pick up our mail there and do homework if we wanted a space to work!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with a host family was the highlight of my experience. I lived with a older woman and her husband, but her husband was typically away living at their beach house. She only spoke Spanish- and my Spanish was not great upon arrival! We ate lunch and dinner together and that made my Spanish improve dramatically, as well as allowed us to bond. The Spanish people are very direct. I would say that it is more offensive to be wasteful of food and say you like it, than to say you don’t like it or don’t prefer it. To have a good relationship I think it is important to keep your room and area clean, to communicate directly, and to occasionally bring home little treats from travels (my host mom loved that!)

* Food:

The food in Spain is very different than home cooked meals in the States! Be ready to explore new tastes and be open to stating your preference when you don't prefer something. Spanish people are very direct so you can be direct when telling them your needs!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

La Feria was my favorite cultural immersion activity! I bought a flamenco dress from a street vendor and was invited into my Spanish friend's casetas. The culture is vibrant, get ready for a good time Spanish style!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was sick for a week and needed to go to the hospital. The onsite program administrators helped me through the whole process and my Spanish host mother held my hand during my whole time in the hospital! I felt so safe and secure throughout my entire experience. API has your back!

* Safety:

I never once felt in danger or uneasy during my time in Seville. The city is well populated and well lit.

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

API was accommodating and made me feel so safe and secure! The administration is caring, compassionate, and engaging.


* 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)

Seville is a very cheap place to live in comparison with the United States. I ate all meals with my host family while in Seville and ate at the grocery store when I was traveling. There are not many costs associated with living in Seville.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $15 for activities or the occasional gelato!
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would advise you to eat some meals out while traveling, but to also buy premade meals in the grocery stores! I would also recommend taking public transportation as opposed to cabs. I also would recommend walking places. It is a great way to save a few bucks and see the city!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The city of Seville
  • My host family
  • The culture
* What could be improved?
  • I would just say that we should be aware of the food we may encounter!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I new that it would be cold in the beginning! Also to pack light!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'