AMAZING Past Review

By (Trinity University) - abroad from 01/18/2012 to 05/11/2012 with

CIEE: Seville - Business + Society

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad is a great, once in a lifetime experience that is way better than just another typical semester at your home university.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes I took were Spanish cinema, international finance, contemporary society and politics in the arab world, the internship class, and the mandatory 2 week intensive course. There wasn't too much homework or readings in general, but midterms and finals were pretty hellish because essentially the majority of your grades were determined by those 2 weeks. I really enjoyed Spanish cinema and the internship, but there were a lot of people who strongly disliked the internship because usually there isn't a lot of meaningful work for you to do and it does take A LOT of time each week (time that you could instead spend hanging out with friends or doing other cultural activities that CIEE plans, etc). However, I still felt that doing an internship was a good way to experience the culture. International finance was pretty boring/terrible. No one in the class enjoyed it (even those who generally speaking like finance). The intensive course was also pretty useless. Mostly you just cram a bunch of Spanish business vocab into your brain and then forget it after the test and hardly ever use it again.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Overall, they were helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My family was very nice to me. I didn't have any problems. You can live with a host family or in a dorm. If you live with a host family though, you'll probably gain a much better understanding of the Spanish culture and I highly recommend it. However, choosing to live with a host family does require you to be more considerate than if you lived in the dorms. For example, let your senora know ahead of time if you can't make it for dinner or be sure to keep your room clean/make your bed. If there is a problem with your host family, there are several times throughout the semester that you can switch host families.

* Food:

As far as food goes, it really just depends on your host family. Some cook better than others. Going out for tapas is always fun!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This really depends on the individual. YOU have to be the one to try to integrate yourself into the local culture. It can be hard at times because you will naturally want to hang out with other American students in the program. Breaking out of this bubble is difficult. I recommend living with a host family, joining a conversation group with local Spanish students, or taking the internship class where you work for a Spanish company. These things all helped me. If you have a high level of Spanish proficiency, you could also direct enroll in some university classes with other Spanish students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had no issues with safety while in Sevilla, even if I was walking alone late at night (I am a woman btw). Some people got pickpocketted, but this usually only happens if you make yourself an easy target.

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)

Well the exchange rate could be better, and Europe isn't cheap. So if you're really tight on budget and want to improve your Spanish I'd look into studying in Central or South American. However, it was still cheaper for me to study in Spain than at Trinity. Also Sevilla was much cheaper that living in Madrid, where I have also studied. You can save money by eating all three meals at home with your host family on most days.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? no idea, depends how much you eat out, shop, or travel. You don't have to spend a lot of money if you don't want too.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? eat at home most days, fly Ryan Air and stay at hostels for mini-trips


* 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

Every class I took was in Spanish.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish literature (an upper level course)
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? Try to hang out with other Spaniards often (not just your group of American friends)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Seville - it's a beautiful city
* What could be improved?
  • the mandatory intensive course
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how much of a pain it is to get credit for classes (even if they were approved prior to studying abroad). It's a lot of running around.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!