Living the Dream- GO TO SEVILLA! Past Review

By (Finance and Financial Management Services., Fordham University) - abroad from 08/20/2014 to 12/19/2013 with

CIEE: Seville - International Business & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained many new friends. better Spanish skills, and a whole new view of the world.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

All of my professors were great- they were very approachable and classes had a relaxed feel. They were also very understanding of the students wants/needs to travel on weekends and therefore found the perfect balance of interesting class material and assignments with a completely manageable amount of time complete assignments. I didn't know this before going but the university where we studied, Universidad de Pablo de Olavide, was a public university with a campus which is unusual for Europe. I liked the campus aspect, but it was almost a 45 minute commute each way to and from school, as it is located on the outskirts of Sevilla and you have to take the metro. Even if I had known this before, I most definitely still would have participated in this program, its just something to keep in mind! CIEE also provides a travel stipend for the metro, so you don't have to worry about paying.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CIEE was perfect in every way- the staff was always helpful and responsive with everything from start to finish. They did a great job of easing us into our new home, city, and school with the orientation at the start of the program.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in a home stay with a señora. She was great- very relaxed and accommodating. I instantly felt comfortable in my home. A home stay is the best way to improve your Spanish. Most host families do not speak any English, but they have usually hosted other American students before so know how to accommodate to the language barriers. You have your own set of keys and can come and go as you please so staying out late was never a concern!

* Food:

My Señora was very accommodating to my wishes of eating healthy! Spanish food in general lacks variety, but is overall good in my opinion. With a host family, you get three meals a day (usually small breakfast, HUGE lunch, and light dinner later). This was extremely helpful because I was on a tight budget so it was great to not have to spend money on food once I was there. It did take some time to get used to not being able to choose what I ate for meals, but I almost always enjoyed what I ate.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I personally felt it was hard to become integrated into the local culture with younger Spanish people, mostly because of the language barrier. My Spanish is proficient, but there was only so much small talk I could do. However, some of my American friends who were better/more confident with their Spanish definitely became more integrated into the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Luckily, I never had a health problem.

* Safety:

I always felt extremely safe in Sevilla. Unfortunately, I had my iPhone stolen and some of my friends did also, but it is important to just not take one out at night. However, I NEVER felt in danger at any point.

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)

It depends on how much you spend on drinks and food when you go out, but overall, Sevilla is slightly cheaper than other Spanish/European cities. There were some weeks where I would spend hardly any money in Sevilla- it was the traveling on weekends to other cities where living on a "student's budget" was extremely difficult.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you're in a home stay, EAT AT HOME! You'll save SO much money.


* 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? Intermediate !!
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? Participate in an intercambio and make an effort to speak with your host family as much as possible- don't be shy about it!

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Morocco Trip
  • The People
  • Relaxed Spanish Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Information about the school before the program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Nothing comes to mind

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.