One Month, but a Lifetime of Memories Past Review

By (Sociology., University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse) for

CIEE: Seville - Summer Language and Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
In only that short time frame, I feel that I changed and matured greatly as an individual. As I had hoped, I gained an appreciation for my culture as well as others. I want to travel so much now so I can improve my knowledge of the diverse cultures in our world. I tend to keep a more open mind now. Also, I am much more independent. I realized how much I am capable as an individual, which really surprised me but gave me so much more confidence.

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.

I took a class on the mix of culture throughout Seville. My teacher was very down to earth. He didn't assign a large workload because he understood we were only there for a short time, but we did have to keep a journal. The best part about the class was that we went on a field trip everyday to actually see parts of the culture throughout Spain. I would have never found out the information that I did if it wasn't for the class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the guides and teachers were very welcoming. Most of them knew English, which was helpful for the first few days as we were becoming accustomed to the culture. They kept us informed about activities and events going on in the city, but they did not enforce it. It was our responsibility to make sure we came to class or field trips everyday. They made it a point that we were to be independent throughout the stay.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really appreciated where I stayed throughout my trip. I lived in an apartment in a really safe neighborhood. I felt very comfortable walking alone during the day in Seville. My host family was very welcoming and caring. Although living with a host family did improve my language, they didn't chat with me as much as I had hoped for but I grew to realize that was their personality and part of the culture. I miss my Senora's meals the most. They were incredible! They also did not mind when I went and came.

* Food:

The food was amazing! When in Spain you need to go out for tapas a few times, but have the locals order your food otherwise you will have no idea what you are ordering. Cien Montaditos is a great hangout if you need a snack or refreshment during the day. It is very affordable. Oh and don't leave without trying the ice cream or churros con chocolate. They are to die for!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Go on as many trips as you can that are provided through the program, otherwise it will be costly for you to go alone. Even if you are completely exhausted, trust me you will regret it if you don't go. The sites are beautiful! There is so much history throughout Seville and Spain that you won't even get close to seeing in the United States. My favorite place to visit in Seville was La Giralda and La Plaza de Espana. I also saw a Bull Fight. It was neat to experience one of their traditions, but it is not for the faint of heart.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Host families and the program directors were always there for you if you had any health issues on the trip. They will provide you with all medical information of the city. There are several pharmacies and grocery stores on every street if you need the basics. Otherwise I would recommend packing a health kit from home. As far as safety goes, always inform your friends of your whereabouts and walk as a group at night. It seemed that the directors and families expect you to be on your own most of the time. They are accustomed to everything in the city, so if something seems strange to you, it may not to them and they will just brush it off. So always pay attention and have good judgement.

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?

I spoke Spanish with my guides, teachers, local civilians, and my host family. I felt that I improved a little, but I would have advanced greatly if I would have studied in Seville longer than a month. It was nice to be able to speak English with fellow students because it provided comfort, but we should have practiced Spanish a bit more.

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is well suited for all individuals. If you can, I would suggest staying for 6 weeks. Although 3 weeks provided me with a great experience, it went by way too fast and I feel that if I stayed a little longer my language would have improved greatly. If your not one who enjoys the heat, choose a different city in Spain otherwise go at the end of May.