Experiences in Espana Past Review

By (Communication Studies, New Mexico State University) for

Pablo de Olavide University: Seville - Hispanic Studies Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My language skills have improves immensely. This experience allowed me to learn so many things about other cultures as well as my own. You can read all you want about other cultures but you never really understand them until you experience them first hand. It was also very interesting to see how other people view the United States. There are so many awesome things that you cant see at home and being in Europe has peaked my interest in seeing more of the world. I also developed a great interest in languages while I was gone, many Europeans know several languages and

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.

Professors were very helpful and knowledgeable about their topic. Study topics were similar to the topics at home but it was very interesting to learn about politics and other world topics from a different perspective that would be impossible to get here in the United States. I did feel that the workload was a little heavy and seemed like busy work. This was a little frustrating as I went to Europe to explore not to do worksheets on topics that were sufficiently covered in lecture. Also the attendance policy was much stricter than I am used to. I agree that attendance is important but this is college level and the biggest learning possibility of study abroad is the cultural experience rather than the bookwork. The university overall was great however I was a little disappointed that I didnt get to travel as much as I would have liked because of the strict policies.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program was available when needed and was very knowledgeable about the country as most were residents. They also set up a variety of activities during the program that were fun and encouraged exploration.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with a host family and they were absolutely amazing. We were provided with everything we needed as well as meals. The family encouraged us with the language and gave us great advice on stores, restaurants, directions and gave us great explanations to the cultural events going on. They provided us 3 meals a day and we sat with the family and ate and watched the news. The family also hosted students from other countries that were visiting for only a week or 2 so that allowed us to interact with other cultures not on the Spanish culture. We lived in a safe neighborhood within walking distance of all the popular bars as well as the river, cathedral, and city center. The metro was a 2 minute walk from the house, however the metro ride to the university took 30-45 minutes each way. The only thing the host family lacked was internet which was required for schoolwork and communication to home.

* Food:

Living with a host family allowed us to eat a traditional Spanish diet. We were also taught how to make several of the dishes to share with our families when we got home.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Overall I felt very safe in Sevilla. The only time to be aware: Bars do not close until 6 or 7 am and most people walk everywhere they go. Like any place you have to be careful walking around late at night especially after drinking.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The trip costs were pretty straight forward and using the euro was fairly easy as well as banking within Europe. Spain is relatively cheap compared to other countries such as France and England. Travel within Europe was also very cheap so I was very pleased, the only thing to keep in mind is the currency conversion which makes everything a little more expensive.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

My Spanish level increased tremendously during my time in Spain. The professors spoke English but always encouraged Spanish and were very helpful in advice for outside interactions. Most people in Spain did not know English. At first this was challenging but it forced me to learn the language and by the end of my stay I was able to have conversations with people I met on trains or at bars. My host family was most helpful with the language. They did not speak English but were very patient and helped with my grammar and taught me a great deal about the language as well as the cultural activities going on in the country. Our host family directed to great places to visit, restaurants,bars, and gave us advice on the best ways to travel.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family