Spanish in Seville
Around every corner was an opportunity to learn more about the language and culture of Andalusia, and this immersion was the most important part of my Spanish education.
How did you live your study?
As a Spanish minor, studying in Seville was the epitome of living my study. I lived with a family that did not speak English, I took classes in the university with Spanish classmates, and I got to visit iconic places that I have read about in my literature classes building up to my semester abroad.
Around every corner was an opportunity to learn more about the language and culture of Andalusia, and this immersion was the most important part of my Spanish education. Looking back on those six months in Seville, it feels as though I were speaking English the whole time (I can assure you that I was not!) because speaking Spanish had become the norm. My semester in Seville turned my study into a way of life.
What moment from your time abroad do you treasure the most?
It is so difficult to choose just one moment that I treasure the most! I participated in so many amazing things, like excavating an ancient Roman temple, bathing in an ancient bathhouse, attending Holy Week and Feria festivities, and of course all of the trips to historical sites.
If I had to name just one, it would be having lunch twice a week with my new Spanish friends in the tourism building of the university. Having dedicated myself to the linguistic exchange of the University of Seville, three language partners quickly multiplied as I was introduced to all of their friends, who then became my core friend group throughout my time there.
I joined in on their daily rhythms of college life as we ate lunch, studied in the library, took coffee breaks, and loitered in the hallways of the psychology building before class. In these moments, I felt like I had a place in Seville and that I would be missed when I was gone.
What was different about your study abroad program—why was this important to you?
Something that I believe was different about CASA: Sevilla was the focus on introducing us to the Sevilla that tourists do not get to see. We did not go as a group to visit the Cathedral or the Alcazar, nor did we visit “las Setas” or the ancient baths—but the neighborhood la Macarena, which is the hub for immigrant culture in Seville; the Andalusian Parliament; and the Institute of the Woman that raises awareness of the social situation of women in Andalucía.
These trips fostered in me a greater understanding and appreciation for the city in which I was studying. I also had more to talk about with new Spanish friends than the architecture they pass by every day, and even learned enough to discuss issues they felt strongly about.
By the end of my time in Seville I had visited all the tourist destinations multiple times, but it is because of CASA: Sevilla’s goal to make us more than just tourists that I left having experienced Sevilla more profoundly than I ever could have on my own.