Things You Won't Learn in a Classroom Past Review

By (Spanish and Biochemistry, Austin College) - abroad from 01/31/2014 to 12/12/2013 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It's hard to put it all down in writing, but in short I realized that there's a lot more to this world than the Texas bubble that I've lived in. I learned that we shouldn't take for granted all that the world has to show us, and that if ever offered the opportunity to explore it again, I would take it with no questions asked. Also, I now have more of an appreciation for a stress free life, and hope to be able to choose a career where I can live a more relaxed 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.

All of my 5 classes during the semester were fairly easy and required almost no studying at home. The only class that really pushed me to study outside of class was during the intensive period because it was at a much faster pace and my spanish was not as strong since I had just arrived.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Although my host parents were great and one of my host brothers ended up being one of my best friends, there were two other children there (20 and 22) who took away from the experience. They both seemed very immature (in different ways) and during meal time, which was one of our only opportunities to speak spanish with the family, they would control most of the conversation, so we spent much more time listening rather than speaking. The son also would completely disregard me and my roommate, which made the living situation even more awkward because we always felt like strangers in the house.

* Food:

Being in such a big family the food always had to be rationed out, so there were times when I had to eat less than usual (but that was probably good for me, so I can't complain too much). Also, there were just a few morning when we were missing essential breakfast components. No breakfast on the weekends.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health problems during the trip that required a trip to the hospital, but during the first week my professor walked me to the pharmacy to get aspirin.

* Safety:

I didn't have any safety issues.

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)

I spent minimal amounts of money, but because of this I also missed out on several experiences.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80 Euros


* 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

They told us to always speak spanish while in the center, but the rules wasn't enforced very well. Also, they set us up with intercambios (spanish speaking students who would help us with spanish as we helped them with english), but it was not a very well organized system and only few students had success with their partners.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? Spanish 350
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? Meet the locals!!! And don't be afraid to go out by yourself. Say yes to new opportunities.

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?
  • Friends that I met
  • Exploring the new world
  • More free time than I've ever had before
* What could be improved?
  • Classes
  • Cultural opportunities offered by program
  • more course selection
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had practiced more spanish during the summer so I could have improved even more while I was there.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.