A Semester of Rest Past Review

By (Philosophy., Eastern College) - abroad from 02/02/2012 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?
Definitely worthwhile. I became more independent, self-confident, cultured, open-minded, grateful of what I have back home and what I was able to experience in Seville, and definitely more fluent in Spanish.

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.

Great professors; good balance of workload and time to rest and travel.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Always approachable

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a great family who made me feel a part of their family and culture. (However, the general housing situation was hit-and-miss.)

* Food:

Loved eating tapas and fresh food; loved Seville's olives and olive oil, bull's tail (delicacy); Seville offers a mature example of alcohol use

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living with a host family, tutoring English, meeting with a speaking partner, and being assertive about meeting other Spaniards really helped me to integrate into Seville's culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have real health problems; common cold. Other students told me that our school administration would go with students to the doctor if needed.

* Safety:

Safest city I've been in; empowering as a woman to walk about the city and feel/be safe.

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)

This rating does not consider money spent on personal trips (i.e. trips completely unassociated with my study abroad program) or money earned from tutoring English.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $53.00 (not including personal trips or earned money)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep track of expenses. I was spending more than I realized at first and realized this because I kept track. However, part of Seville's culture involved eating tapas and other expense-related things, so try not to be too stingy on money and miss out - it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was able to earn a bit of extra spending money by tutoring English (also a fun experience).


* 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 were always to speak Spanish, meet with our speaking partner(s), live with a host family or dorm with Spaniards, and take language courses. Our classes were taught in Spanish, and we could also take courses at the Universidad de Sevilla - a great way to meet Spaniards.

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? Advanced Placement in high school; 300 level in college
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? Write down vocab. words/phrases on a notecard and carry it with you. It's likely that you'll hear new words frequently, and it's helpful to have a list with you to refresh your memory. Also, pay attention to the phrasing people use to express a certain idea - it's not always about remembering perfect grammar but also about recognizing general phrases and idioms.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* 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?
  • Relaxed lifestyle; beauty and safety of the city
  • Personal and community-based
  • Priority to integrate students
* What could be improved?
  • Details/logistics about taking courses both at the Center and U. Sevilla
  • Internship opportunities and effectiveness
  • Screening of housing options
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to budget; many people no longer practice stereotypical "machismo" but are more egalitarian (I experienced the effects of machismo from people I didn't know, but the men I knew personally were more egalitarian [professors, host father, father of the students I tutored, guy friends, etc.])