Sevilla es una Maravilla! Past Review

By (College of Lake County) - abroad from 02/02/2017 to 05/11/2017 with

International College of Seville / ICS: Study Abroad in Seville

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a newfound love for history, culture, and people. I saw new parts of the world I thought I would only dream of. I learned about myself and I made friends from all corners of the world that I still talk to and hope to see again one day.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I honestly feel like I became a more well rounded student and person after taking classes at ICS. I learned a lot about topics I had always been embarrassed to ask, and I never dreaded going to class. Our teachers were attentive, cared about our experiences and opinions, and really taught us a lot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Admins were ALWAYS available, either at school, or through WhatsApp, and made me feel like I had a little crew of Americans standing behind me at all times. I loved seeing my professors and the school staff every day, as they were wholeheartedly interested in my success both academically and socially while abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My house mom treated me like one of her own children and I loved staying with her and her family. I loved walking from my house to school or the center, and I felt it was possible to truly connect with the family.

* Food:

Everyone at ICS and in my homestay made sure we were never hungry. I loved my mom's cooking for lunch and dinner every day, and the school throws awesome parties with delicious food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

ICS offers intercambios, but as a school full of Americans, for Americans, it's sometimes hard to walk down the street with them and feel like a Sevillana. BUT, if you go out of your way to meet new people and talk to the Spaniards you see out, a whole new side of Spain will open up to you. You are as integrated as you try to be!!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

We were provided with private healthcare, and I was never worried about whether or not I would be helped if I needed it. I didn't need any vaccines before coming to Spain.

* Safety:

I felt more safe walking home alone at 3 am than I do sometimes in America. I was never worried about my safety. As always, its necessary that you keep your wits about you and don't put yourself in bad situations, but I never was worried about safety in Spain or really in Europe at all.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I LOVE my ICS family and I love Sevilla. I would work at ICS if I could, because I would love to help students have an experience as amazing as I did.


* 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 provided, so all I had to pay for was outside meals I wanted, drinks out, and any items I personally wanted to buy, as well as travel. With money saved, I got to travel more than I ever had and now have a newfound love for new places.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50 dollars maybe.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Decide what you want to do/where you want to go and then plan for it. I could have done without nightly crepes with my friends and then gone to a bullfight. It's about prioritizing what you want to experience. The time spent laughing with friends though was priceless, so it's what you make it!!


* 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

If I ever came in and started talking to staff in Spanish, they responded in Spanish. They helped with slang, and what to say in certain situations.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 3 years high school spanish
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? STOP speaking english with your friends! Find at least one friend in your group who is willing to speak Spanish with you instead of English. It will really help. Speak Spanish to the Spaniards! They will appreciate you respecting them enough to start with bad spanish than coming at them in English. And you will learn some cool slang too. (; I have had friendships made because I spoke Spanish in the street instead of English.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

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?
  • Location of School ( in amazing city)
  • Time to Travel
  • Staff
* What could be improved?
  • More opportunities to be a part of local happenings
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That the world is fulll of beautiful people and moments - don't let them pass by unnoticed. This is all such a blessing and my life was changed because of it.

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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

International Relations

Course Department:
Instructor: John Boyle
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Our teacher was definitely knowledgeable on anything we wanted to ask him about. I participated more than I would have at my home institution because I knew that my classmates were just as interested in the world and its' ongoings as I am. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and learned new things about international relations, BREXIT, and other topics that I feel make me more knowledgeable about what's going on in the world around me.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues whatsoever transferring credits back home. ICS makes this SO easy.
Course Name/Rating:

Three Cultures of Spain

Course Department:
Instructor: John Boyle
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was the first class that ever made me interested in history. Our field trip(s) were completely relevant and brought to life all that Professor Boyle had been teaching us in class. It gave me a love for Spains' culture and added a sense of awe and wonder to the real life application of Spains' rich history.
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems!!
Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Spanish

Course Department:
Instructor: Luis F. Recio
Instruction Language: Español
Comments: Loved Luis as a teacher and learned so much in this class. Our first lesson blew my mind and I left my class feeling like I already had a new level of Spanish. I eagerly attended class and learned things that actually helped me as a student, but also a young adult living in Spain. I participated a lot because it really helped me retain the material.
Credit Transfer Issues: No problems!