Seville Study Abroad Program was the best trip of my life! Past Review

By (Public Relations, The University of Texas at Austin) for

CIEE: Seville - Summer Language and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am not a lot more aware of how many life changing opportunities and experiences there are in the world. You will hopefully walk away understanding there is so much more to seeing ad doing in this world and opens your eyes to a lot of things you may have ignored in the past. I now see myself going back for grad school or moving back to Spain for work. You must be open minded and understand that things might not always be what you expect but if you walk in with an understanding that things will be different sometimes you will enjoy yourself a lot more. If you go thinking you know everything and refusing to mold to the social norms and behaviors of the culture around you, you will not have the experience you could be having.

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.

The workload was not overwhelming for a three week program you just had to keep up with it. you are taking a test a week into class but its intense enough to keep you on your toes and make sure you dont fall behind. Some professors are more strict then others and expect you to participate and not be absent. There is no time to waste as you are completing a whole semester of class in 3 weeks. The teachers are nice as long as you are respectful and dont take their class as a joke.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I think this program was very impressive and i have no real problems with it. They were very organized and provided a lot of information for us before, during and after the program. We went on field trips, overnight stays, and day trips that were both fun but also cool to take trips to other cities you may have never been able to visit. The tours were a little early and mandantory but it was just hard because the lifestyle has a much later nightlife. The size of the program was big enough to meet and know everyone and they really wanted to make sure you were having a good time and experiencing Spain. The only thing I didnt like was the food in the dorm but its dorm food so it is to be expected.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Dorm was in the middle of the city so the location was awesome. Some of the other studetns lived across the river from school so would have to walk over 45 minutes to get to class which could be annoying. We were 10 minutes from everything and close to all the main plazas and shopping districts. It was a university based dorm so a lot of people in study abroad programs or university students lived there. You usually had one roommate, I roomed with a girl from my program. Some dorms look like dorms but others were more like apartments. They provide everything you need like towels, sheets, etc, and clean your room every week, and if you wanted to get your laundry done by them they would do it but a lot of students chose to do it themselves. It was a lot of freedom and you didnt have to feel weird coming home late to a family.

* Food:

Food was probably the most disappointing. Some days were better than others but sometimes it wasnt good at all. they have a set schedule for lunch dinner so if you miss it you miss it. Breakfast isnt anything special for Spaniards so its usally just bread and coffee. Some host families cooked great, others not so much so its really just a toss up.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

CIEE took us on a day trip, an overnight trip, and left one weekend for us to travel and it worked out very well. We got to go to some cities that we might have not been able to experience otherwise and it didnt cost anything for the students except fun money. They always put us in nice hotels, set up field trips for us to go on, and all of our food was paid for. Locals from the cities we visited would travel with us and they would take us out at night. They were all fun except all of the tours/activities are mandantory which some people didnt like, but really wasnt that bad, no one wanted to wake up early. We went to the bull fights which was very gruesome but something I think you should experience if you are in Spain. Its part of the culture and something that is very different for us. I would just know that there are usually 6 bulls and they kill them all, so if you have a problem with blood, animals getting killed I would maybe rethink it. Flamenco was also something that is very culturally thrilling to watch. They took us to a show in orientation and there was usually shows going on all the time, some free and some not, you just had to look for them. CIEE was very organized and tried to get us to experience the whole spectrum of the Spanish culture. Very well put together. I loved it!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Seville is very safe and clean city in central part of the city, I never felt unsafe by myself but tried to stay with groups when we walked home late at night just as a precaution. They clean the streets every night, there is no trash, and overall a beautiful city. No one really travelled outside of the city center unless your homestay was located somewhere else but CIEE did pretty good about putting students in homes that werent too far from home and gave you the option to switch homestays if you were not comfortable with your living arrangements. There were no vaccines that were required to travel to Spain but I went to my doctor and just asked him to give me whatever he thought was necessary. I never experienced the health care accessibility but from what other students said you had a doctor available to you for a certain amount of money and you had to have a doctor's note if you were missing class because you were sick.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

They really encourage you to speak Spanish and practice with your friends. They all speak English and Spanish and if you had a preference to speak English they had no problem, except in classes, if they are taught in Spanish you are expected to speak it. The only time it was okay to speak english is when you needed to clarify something. The program also teams up with univesity students who want to practice their english so you have a local student that you can meet up with and talk as much or as little as you want. You are encouraged to speak spanish at all tiems and in everyday interactions but there are a lot of english speakers surprisngly so you werent completely left in the dark. A lot of people in the program would just speak Spanish in the class then English the rest of the time. You make your experience with Spanish as much or as little as you want

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think you make your time abroad as little or as big of an experience as you want it to be. If you put the effort into experiencing all of the cultural dynamics of the city, you will not have many regrets at the end except wanting more time. A lot of students who left before me, said that they wish they had done a lot more than just go out and experience more of the city. I would say you will regret leaving if all you did was party. There was never a point where you could say you had seen everything Seville had to offer. So Go and have fun but make sure you see all of the city and not just the night life.