A unique opportunity to connect with Seville on a deeper level and impact the local community
Our community-based learning program was born out of a desire to see students leave Seville feeling as though they had truly connected with the local community. While our students already had ample opportunities to interact with Spaniards on a daily basis, we knew that we could provide them with an even more meaningful experience that would impact them for years to come.
My passion and challenge has been to find a way to integrate students into our routine [...] and to make their experiences here even more transformative and long lasting.
CINECU professor and housing director Ángeles Lamprea wanted to combine her passion for teaching study abroad students with her love for her hometown of Seville. She soon realized that service learning was the answer and enthusiastically became our community-based learning director, a role she has been passionate about ever since.
Through this program, you can extend your learning beyond the classroom and bolster the local community, all while having fun. Improve your Spanish and build relationships as you help meet real needs of local people in elementary schools, retirement homes, and other establishments throughout Seville.
Students come to Seville for a variety of different reasons: to improve their Spanish, to travel, or simply to get know a new place and culture. Even though students connect to Spanish culture through the language, many of them leave Seville without having really connected with the heart of the city. For the past few years, my passion and challenge has been to find a way to integrate students into our routine, to make them feel like a part of our community, and to make their experiences here even more transformative and long lasting. In immersing students in the life of the city through service learning, they are able to come in contact with diverse groups of people that would normally be inaccessible for them.
Students are able to volunteer at one of these sites around Seville:
Sevilla has a variety of hermandades—religious brotherhoods with origins dating back to medieval times. These brotherhoods serve their local communities in a variety of ways. While volunteering at the Brotherhood of San Bernardo, you will participate in a language exchange program with children, youth, and adults eager to learn English. You will get to practice your Spanish and form friendships as well as experience what it is like to be a part of a local hermandad.
This is a smaller private elementary school where you will also work with students in the classroom.
Colegio Claret is a large, prestigious private school in Seville with classes ranging from the elementary to high school level. Here you will help teachers in the classroom by tutoring students in small groups. The experience will be as fun for you as it is for the students!
This retirement home works to create a positive and caring environment for its residents. Our students play a large role in helping residents feel cared for and appreciated. As a volunteer here, you will brighten someone’s day simply by sitting and talking with them as you get to know Spain through the eyes of someone who has lived through some of the country’s most turbulent historical periods.
An aspect of the brotherhood that I like a lot is the sense of unity between the volunteers and the people receiving help. This creates such a unique community in Sevilla. I have learned a lot about the origin and objective of the brotherhoods, Spanish culture, and the life and history of Spain.
There are a lot of things about Spanish history that we can’t learn in a class room and I am grateful for the opportunity to talk to people who were there.
Volunteering at the retirement home was a very satisfying experience. It was very clear that the people there appreciated our time and were happy to share their wisdom and sit down and talk with us about our time in Seville and their own lives. I learned that even after tragedy people can continue living and be strong.
We talked about everything, from politics to the economic situation in Spain, to Romanticism and Spanish literature. I thought it was interesting that women who lived during such a difficult period in history had strong opinions about the importance of education and independence
I love talking with the kids, they are really funny and I learned new Spanish words from talking with them.
Participating in the relationship between our program and the brotherhood is a special and memorable experience for me. It allows us to meet Spaniards of different ages and backgrounds—not only the students and professors of our classes or the señoras of our houses, but also children and youth in the brotherhood…It is true that this experience gives us the complete picture of Seville
The boys and girls taught me a lot about school in Spain and also showed me that life for children here in Spain is very different from what my life was like when I was 12!