I want to go back. Take me back!!!! Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., University of the Pacific) - abroad from 08/21/2013 to 12/10/2013 with

CIEE: Seville - International Business & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself as a person. I learned what I like to do and what types of people I want around me. Most of all, I learned how to enjoy life. I always stressed out too much over school before. I learned that isn't the only thing that matters in life. You need balance. However, I learned this after staying for another semester (I switched to CIEE Sevilla Business and Society for the second semester). I would highly reccomend to stay for a year if you can.

Review Photos

CIEE: Seville - International Business & Culture Photo

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.

Professors were so great. Only thing though, just because they are only 3 units each doesn't mean they aren't as hard as a normal 4unit class. Keep that in mind...I took 5 classes and I shouldn't have. Learned a lot from the classes though.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Nice people. However, they are really slow at getting back to you about things.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I asked for a family and got only a "senora," meaning just a 65ish host mother. She was really critical and accused me of stealing from her after I left (which was insane). I think she was just old, so was probably forgetting things and was rude to start off with. Most people who had host families didn't have problems, but almost everyone had issues with the senoras. And I'm mad at the program, since they didn't tell me that she thought that I stole from her when it happened. I ended up calling my host mom second semester (I moved into an apartment) to ask her out for tapas, around 4 months later, and she hung up on me. I sent an email, and then she accused me of the stealing. It sort of hurt, since we were doing really good towards the end of my first semester.

* Food:

My host mother, while crazy, was a great cook. However, not everyone had the same sort of luck as I did.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I loved being at the university. It's really hard to get Spanish friends, but it's definitely easier when you are at the university. I was at a study center the next semester...definitely not the same. I would advise against staying at a center center. Being on campus can make all the difference in the world.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

my program informed me of where things were at.

* Safety:

Honestly, it just depends on whether or not you yourself do stupid things. I was completely safe and had a great experience, however I took care of myself. I never drank more than I could and never walked home with strangers. I knew other people that would black out...one girl doesn't remember what happened, but we think she got mugged. However, that is because she walked home with some new "friends" she made while she was completely drunk. This applies to wherever you go. I had a wonderful experience and on the whole Sevilla is extremely safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

Eat at home as much as you can, go out for tapas a few times a week. You will be fine. Spain is very cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Depending on what I did...if you travel it's different. However, I could literary spend nothing if all I did was stay home to eat that week. However, with taxes and tapas, I would say like 20euros. But again, some weeks it would be much less.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat at home unless you go out with friends. Keep a budget with you and don't keep too much money in your wallet at one time.


* 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

The program should have more. Looking back, I was ready to take classes in Spanish and for people to talk to me in Spanish. It was too easy to speak English. I forced myself though. With the other CIEE Seville programs, they force you to speak Spanish, which is better.

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? Spanish25 I think
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? Don't hang out with the other Americans. I know it's hard, but it's worth it. You will get yourself more immersed and make Spanish friends. It takes awhile, but by the end you could have Spanish friends and just speak Spanish whenever you go out. So get as many intercambios as you can. You can have more than one...in fact, the more the better. You never know who you will click with.

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?
  • Classes offered
  • Classes at the university
  • weekend day trips that are offered every weekend
* What could be improved?
  • More classes offered in Spanish (most classes offered in Spanish through CIEE Sevilla are in the other programs, but all those classes are at the study center. Being oncampus is soooo much better than the center. However, having classes in Spanish doesn't help your Spanish. You speak too much English, study in English, and it is so easy not to speak in Spanish)
  • having an apartment option for those students that take classes in Spanish
  • More volunteering opportunities and faster responce time concerning finding certain volunteering organizations.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I should have taken classes in Spanish. And not to try to make friends with Americans, to just focus on the Spanish people. If you do not have similar interests with the Americans, that's fine.

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!