Life Changing Experience Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies., Fordham University) - abroad from 01/16/2012 to 05/30/2012 with

CIEE: Seville - Communication, New Media, and Journalism

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to love myself more. I came back as a woman more confident in her own skin.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Universidad de Sevilla
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.

This rating is for the CIEE courses only. They were quite easy. The direct enrollment courses are at 4-5 stars for rigor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing situation was in el Centro of the city, easy to get everywhere! The old couple who hosted me were very sweet, gave me personal space, chatted and started conversation at leisure. It was a very sweet experience.

* Food:

My host was an amazing cook. Ask for Encarnacion Leon Guillen when you do the program. Spain in general has really great food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

After a month and a half I felt like I fit in. I joined a local gym, had local low key hang out spots with university friends. I also memorized my route to home and school, which to save money by not taking the bus was sometimes long :) Of course I never felt like I entirely fit in, but daily basic interactions were familiar and I felt at home doing those.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health problems, but there was a gal in my program with a serious complication. For personal reasons I will not disclose exactly what the issue was. But she came to me and told me that the program did not offer much assistance. She did receive the contact information for a clinic that would help her, but the help seemed quite superficial. This is what I heard from her, from my end I had no complications and did not see a doctor in Spain. Besides her story, I have no comment on health issues.

* Safety:

Keep your belongings on you. I have never had anything stolen in Spain because I watch my things, and I always wore my purse crossed. But other gals had jackets and purses stolen because they didn't take the little extra precautions. Besides the rare petty theft, Seville was a very safe city!

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)

* 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? 30-50 euros, sometimes less, sometimes more
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat your meals at home! Buy snack bars or portable fruit if you know you get hungrier in between meals, that way you don't find yourself having to buy so many meals outside the homestay. Visit local regions - they can be as exotic as flying to another country! Group activities also keeps cost low. One night a group of friends and I decided to cook dinner at someone's apartment rather than go out to eat. And we each only spent 5 euro each but we ate marvelously! Bakeries are good spots for pieces of bread with some butter or jam, or a roll. Makes for quick cheap snacks! Seville is a relatively small city, and you will love the food. For those to reasons, give yourself more time in the day to go on and not take public transportation, but take the walk instead.


* 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? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? none
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? Take at least one direct enrollment class. If not, a class likeCIEE's Audiovisual workshop included five Spaniard students, so many times it felt like a direct enrollment class.

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Ability to shape it into whatever you want to make it to be
  • The travel to Barcelona component
  • Easiness of CIEE classes allowed for more time to proactively perform projects of self-interest
* What could be improved?
  • The way students are selected, that they all show a KEEN interest in Journalism
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Expect nothing, expect everything. All I can say is your life will change, that you cannot control.