Sevilla is in My Heart Forever Past Review

By (Communication and Media Studies., Illinois State University) for

ISA Study Abroad in Sevilla, Spain

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and got to do things I'll never be able to do again in my life.

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.

There weren't nearly as many assignments or papers as typically assigned at Illinois State University. I wish we would have more homework in the Spanish classes so that we could have practiced and worked with the material more rather than just hearing it and hoping we do well on the test. Fortunately, ISU prepared me very well for my semester abroad; I learned very very little new material. The grading system is based on a 0-10 scale rather than a 0-100% scale, with 5 as a passing grade (US "D"). The Spanish professors are also not expected to produce our grades or turn around assignments very quickly at all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were very organized with their excursions and balanced the amount of planned and free time. I also believe the activities we did on the excursions were worthwhile. I would say that for a weakness, I was disappointed that I was with just American students. Had I the opportunity to choose again, I would have liked to pick the University of Sevilla over Menendez-Pelayo.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Triana neighborhood was extremely safe and in a convenient location. There are plenty of cultural activities in my area. At night, I felt 10x safer walking by myself than I do at home, something all my fellow classmates agree with as well. There was a popular club about a 15 minute walk away, bars around the corner, the Plaza de Espana 20 minutes away or so...very good. My host family was very kind and shared a lot about Spanish history, food, and drink.

* Food:

They gave me so much food all the time. I was very satisfied with what I ate. There was only 1 or 2 things all semester that I didn't really like, and they didn't make it again.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The friendships I made here were wonderful and the personal travel was great!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I thought it was quite safe. Keep a hand on your belongings and don't leave your purse on your seat. Just take the ordinary precautions and you'll be fine.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent very minimal on a weekly basis, but then I'd spend a lot on Christmas gifts.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budget an extra $500


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Upper intermediate. Spanish Grammar.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

All of my classmates were American, so we spoke English with one another. I did a homestay and had an intercambio to practice Spanish. We didn't really do much speaking in class, but when we would hang out outside of class, we would talk to Spaniards in Spanish.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • All the opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • Greater mix of Spaniards and Americans and other students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Try to make friends with everyone you meet. You meet some very interesting people and what you have to say may educate them about what your host culture is REALLY like.