A Lifechanging Experience Past Review

By (Spanish and Iberian Studies, Wartburg College) - abroad from 08/31/2015 to 12/10/2015 with

Spanish Studies Abroad: Seville - Semester, Year or Summer in Seville

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I not only improved my language skills and learned a lot about the countries history, I figured out how to be an active participant in a culture and language very distinct from my own. I also improved my planning and problem solving skills, especially when it came to figuring out transportation and housing as well as how to handle a situation when it didn't go the way it was planned.

Review Photos

Spanish Studies Abroad: Seville - Semester, Year or Summer in Seville Photo Spanish Studies Abroad: Seville - Semester, Year or Summer in Seville Photo Spanish Studies Abroad: Seville - Semester, Year or Summer in Seville Photo Spanish Studies Abroad: Seville - Semester, Year or Summer in Seville Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The program was fantastic and the professors were excellent. All were willing to help and passionate about what they taught.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host mom and the living situation was comfortable. Her cooking was wonderful as well and the location was perfect.

* Food:

Aside from the people and culture, this is one of the things I am missing the most already.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program gave me a jump start to becoming a part of the local culture and from there I made many connections with locals and participated in the local culture. It felt like a home away from home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had to go to the doctor at the beginning of the program and to the pharmacy at the end of the program. I had staff from the program take me to the doctor and everything went smoothly. The care was excellent. The pharmacies were very helpful as well, and by the end of the semester I was comfortable asking for what I needed. I found the care to be equal if not better than home and I did not need to take any vaccines specifically for the program.

* Safety:

I have never felt so safe in a city of this size before. While it is always a good idea to be with someone at night, I was able to walk home comfortably on my own several times as well.

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

Finances

* 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)

It all depends on how much travel you plan on doing. I tried to take advantage of the opportunity of being in another country where travel was easily accessible and not overly expensive so I ended up spending an average of just under $100 a week. If you decide to stay mostly in town you can definitely get by on less, though I would recommend taking advantage of all the country has to offer (and neighboring countries as well).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? What I wrote above covers this category as well. There were no additional program expenses and so my food/personal/other expenses were an average of less than 100 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would invest in the bike pass. The weather is good and bikes can get you a lot further than you could go on foot. When going for snacks, visit the chinos or grocery store versus the restaurants and bakeries. It is at least half the price which adds up over time. Finally, try and bring everything you will need with. It saves you from racking up a bill of personal items when you get here (shampoo, soap, etc. are a lot more expensive in Europe).

Language

* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate/Advanced
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? My biggest challenge was when locals assumed I was an English speaker and so they began talking to me in English. Respond in Spanish. It is not your first reaction often times but that is what you are there for.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • The Intercambio program
  • The professors
  • The interactive classes such as cooking and dance
* What could be improved?
  • Studying with only Americans (it would have been more beneficial to have students from other places as well, or locals)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that I would be studying only with Americans. It made improving my language skills even more of a challenge, and though I wouldn't change a thing about my experience, if I were to continue to improve my Spanish after studying in Seville, I would definitely choose a location and program where it is highly unlikely to find an English speaker.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'