A Glimpse of Andalusian Spanish Culture Past Review

By (Public Relations, Advertising, Applied Communication, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/07/2015 to 05/23/2015 with

CIEE: Seville - International Business & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about the different cultures/traditions that exist among the autonomous regions of Spain; the economic & political problems it was facing at the time; an understanding of what it feels to be a foreigner; and how to adapt to change.

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.

Most courses used outdated textbooks that, in some aspects, weren't relevant to today's business world. Printing at the university's "copisteria" would take a long time as customer service in Spain is almost non-existent.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was very understanding of my wanting to travel and go out while I was abroad. My host mom had no curfews; she just wanted to know whether I'd be home for meals so she'd know whether to prepare them.

* Food:

The food is great! It's also very healthy and made with mostly natural ingredients.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being an advanced Spanish speaker, I definitely felt more integrated with the culture than my peers did. However, I wish the affiliate program would have organized more events to promote integration.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Figuring out insurance abroad was too much of a hassle, so I opted for visiting pharmacies and getting diagnosed there instead. Medicine is really cheap (and effective) in Spain!

* Safety:

Lots of cat-calling, but nothing physical.

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)

All meals were included in the program fee. Most of my expenses consisted of shopping or eating out when I traveled on weekends.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 -- occasionally eating out and shopping


* 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

Compared to CIEE's other programs in Seville, Spain, the IBCP program wasn't really pushed to use the language as much. For most students, Spanish was really only used at home-stays or extracurricular activities.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
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? Advanced Spanish Grammar & Composition
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? Sign up for an "intercambio" and for any events that allow you to meet Spanish students.

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
  • International Students
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?
  • Food
  • Host Family
  • Leisure Time
* What could be improved?
  • More Integration
  • Program's Organization
  • Classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known that UPO was considered a joke by the locals. I would always be asked why I wasn't taking my classes at the University of Sevilla instead. I also wish I would have known that the "advanced" Spanish classes abroad were actually intermediate, by U.S. standards.

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!