Una experiencia inolvidable! Past Review

By (Indiana University - Bloomington) - abroad from 01/13/2016 to 05/06/2016 with

CIEE: Seville - Business + Society

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My semester in Sevilla was one of the best experiences of my life! I'm most grateful to CIEE for the opportunity to live with a host family. I absolutely LOVE my host family! They took me to extended family gatherings and day trips, we ate dinner together every night, and they went out of their way to make sure I had an enriching cultural experience. Some of my favorite memories are going to Semana Santa, Feria, and a horse show with my amazing host family. We're still in touch, and I'm going back to visit them in a couple months! Overall, I gained confidence and stronger Spanish skills, expanded my worldview, and most importantly, found a second family.

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 program does a great job of making sure students feel comfortable with Spanish through an intensive Spanish class. Then the focus turns towards studying business concepts in Spanish, with an international focus.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The directors are incredibly helpful and supportive, while also helping you get out of your comfort zone!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with a host family and it was the best part of my experience! They included me in everything, we cooked together, went to extended family events, and became very close. In fact, I'm visiting them right now, one year after my program ended! I never expected to gain a second family from study abroad.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My host family was incredible! They included me in everything and I learned so much. I wish I would have taken a Direct Enrollment course, meaning that I would have been with primarily local students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I don't have relevant experience with this issue in particular.

* Safety:

I felt very safe and the program made sure we were well-informed from day one about safety precautions.

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

When I left the U.S., I was nervous and anxious about living so far out of my comfort zone. However, CIEE offered so much support and gave me opportunities to go beyond my comfort zone and truly experience Spanish culture. CIEE also hosted lots of day trips and events to make sure we had the chance to see other parts of Spain (and Morocco!). The program also connected me to an "intercambio" (language exchange partner.) My intercambio and I quickly became friends and would spend time walking around El Centro (city center) in Sevilla, eyeing which bakery we wanted to visit that day.


* 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)

Because I was in a homestay and my meals were provided, this wasn't an issue.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use www.kiwi.com if you have flexible travel plans to find cheap flights!


* 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

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? 326 - Spanish Literature
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Listen to podcasts by locals to get used to the pace and so you can rewind and listen to sections again if necessary. Watching movies/TV shows with subtitles in Spanish (or just watching them in Spanish) would also help. Music is a fun way to get used to the language too!

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?
  • Support
  • Intercambios
  • Classes taught in Spanish
* What could be improved?
  • Easier access to classes with local students (Direct Enrollment)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I should have found a way to do a Direct Enrollment course.

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.'