Life in Sevilla: More Than Just Tapas and Fiestas Past Review

By (Austin College) - abroad from 02/01/2012 to 05/16/2012 with

SSA Education Abroad: Seville - Semester, Year or Summer in Seville

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely an experience that I believe every student should have. I had the semester of a lifetime in Spain. By the end of my stay, I didn't have the heart to leave the city and only returned home with promising to come back again. I learned a lot about the type of person I am and the type of person I would like to be. Being surrounded by such friendly people inspired me to become more optimistic and outgoing. I also learned a lot about different lifestyles and found some things that I definitely wanted to bring back to my life in America. I definitely want to try and live in Sevilla again at some point in my life.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Staff and faculty were very helpful and supportive. For the intensive internship program they really went to great lengths to find a placement for me at the location of my choice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host mother was amazing- more than anything I could have hoped for. She treated me more like family than a study abroad student. Excellent location and had wi-fi access so it was perfect.

* Food:

As a vegetarian, I was worried that I would have trouble finding vegetarian options in Spain. However, the program did a great job placing me with a host family that cooked delicious vegetarian food for every meal.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program's Intercambio exchange program paired me with a spanish student whom I interacted with often. The program also encouraged cultural immersion by holding many events for students with their intercambios. Aside from the school, people in Sevilla are very friendly in general and are very welcoming to foreign students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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)

Euros are worth more than the dollar so it was harder to stick with a tight budget, especially if you plan to travel.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes


* 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

We had a strict Spanish only policy that the program tried to enact throughout our stay by rewarding students who obeyed the policy. Despite this, students still spoke in English at times. However, compared to other programs, students from CCCS used the language more often.

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 200 level college spanish class
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Even though you might not want to speak in Spanish all the time, I strongly encourage future students to use Spanish as much as possible. The amount of Spanish you learn is so much greater the less you refrain from using English. You are able to interact with local Spaniards better and so get a more effective cultural immersion.

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
* 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?
  • I loved the cultural immersion provided by the program. They really made an effort for students to truly understand life in Sevilla.
* What could be improved?
  • I thought they were understaffed for the amount of students they receive. I was lucky enough to have an amazing host family and intercambio but I know of other students who were not so fortunate.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I came to this program with better spanish speaking ability because you are kind of thrown in to the language without an easy transition. Improving my spanish speaking and listening skills would have definitely prepared me better for the home stay and other activities in the beginning of the program.