Spanish/American Experience with CC-CS, Seville Past Review

By (Spanish Language and Literature., Birmingham-Southern College) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
In my opinion, a study abroad experience could only not be worthwhile if a student sulked and complained the whole time. Anywhere you go you can find beauty, you can find something interesting and new to learn about that. That being said, I was enchanted by Sevilla. It's a city with so much history and so much current energy. The festivities in the Spring, like Feria de Abril or Semana Santa, really added something else to it. At the end I was only sad I couldn't stay longer. 4 months is hardly enough time to really dig your hands in deep, as much as I tried to take advantage of all the time I had. By the beginning of May I was finally feeling so much more comfortable with the language, but then it was time to go. The most empowering thing I learned while studying in Spain was that I really can express myself in the language. Even if I don't know a specific word, my time there taught me how to talk around that word and make myself understood. I feel study abroad infests the student with a different sort of independence and self-reliance that you especially find in yourself as you get lost and then make your way out of it.

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.

The teachers at the Center are FANTASTIC! They make class a lot more fun because they care about it and about you.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was fantastic. The only reason I didn't put a 5 for language growth is because I did have an American roommate. My family did not speak English at all. I especially learned a lot from the grandchildren who visited for lunch every week day. They talked no differently to me than they did to their mom and grandma, which really forced me to turn my ears on and pay attention.

* Food:

I know of some friends in the program who had not-so-great food experiences in their homestay, but overall I heard good things. My host mom was a great cook and even taught me and my roommate a few of her recipes. It was hard for the vegetarians I knew, especially with the prevalence of ham. General advice on getting food in Sevilla (and honestly, for most cities)--go outside the main city center. The places are smaller, less crowded, cheaper and generally just as good. Also, try the coffee. In fact, get addicted to the coffee.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

CC-CS is really great about offering side trips to museums or other 'cultural' spots. These are led by professors from the Center who have specific knowledge about that area. It's always helpful to have someone tell you what's going on and it was a great way to see other parts of the city.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had no health problems while in Spain that required addressing by the program. It was good to know that if I had, someone from the Center who also knew English would be able to go to the doctor with me to make sure I would understand everything clearly.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I really liked the first month of intensive language course. I took the present day Spanish usage, which was super helpful.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The main negative thing I could say about CC-CS Seville is that you are surrounded by Americans (not that this is necessarily an awful thing, but if you're going for cultural immersion, it certainly doesn't help). Classes at the Center are with other Americans. If you are there in the Spring you will have a roommate and it will be another American (in the Fall less students participate so you are more likely to be alone). So my main advice is to put yourself out there--take classes at the University even if you don't think your Spanish is good enough. You have to try extra hard, but the CC-CS program is set up very well and had a lot of wonderful perks so I would still recommend it. Just be aware. I put that I would choose the same program again, but the real answer would be maybe. I might look for a program where I wouldn't have a roommate. Or I at least would have taken classes at the Universidad de Sevilla instead of just at the Center.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Art Histoy of Spain II

Course Department: ARH 452
Instructor: Conso
Instruction Language: Spanish
Comments: This was by far my favorite class--Conso is so entertaining and endearing and caring. Plus it's amazing to see all the connections you make with the current Spain around you by studying their art history. Yes--studying for the exams took a little effort, but I also have interest in art so it wasn't that big of a deal. Our class trip to Madrid was my favorite academic moment of my life. You can't beat standing in front of the art you've been studying for weeks. The understanding you gain in those moments is priceless.
Credit Transfer Issues: