Between program prerequisites and major requirements, it can be difficult to find the time these days to spend a year abroad. The fall and spring semesters each have their own flavor, and you can find specific details on the pages devoted to them. But, for those that are able, the personal and professional benefits of spending a year abroad cannot be overstated.
Year-long students arrive in Seville near the end of August, and their year ends in mid-June. That means you will be immersed in a Spanish, and Spanish-speaking, environment for nearly 10 months. If people can make incredible jumps in their Spanish abilities in one semester, imagine what you are capable of with more than twice that amount of time!
You will take two semesters of classes, taught by local professors, where you will hear things from the Spanish perspective. Combined with your life outside the classroom, there is literally no better way to familiarize yourself with the culture in which you are living. You will have no option other than to learn to communicate in Spanish in situations as diverse as small talk with your fellow students and the complex ideas you will articulate in your term papers.
There will also be many more opportunities to travel, as you will spend more time in Spain and more time apart from the program (during the weeks of Christmas vacation). Immense amounts of self-discovery and reflection take place during studies abroad, as you find yourself in new and unexpected situations that are not possible if you always restrict yourself to comfortable environments.
Finally, you will literally see what a year in Spain looks like. You will see how Seville and its residents adapt to each changing season, and how each has its own style. It is possible to make more long-term friendships and connections during an extended stay, and there really is no substitute for spending this much time in an immersion environment using the language you are trying to learn.
If you choose to spend a year studying in Seville, you will not be disappointed. The amount you will learn and the number of incredible experiences you will have will leave your head spinning!
August and September are two of Sevilla’s hottest months, but those temperatures open up a world of opportunities. You won’t find a better time to head to the beaches of Huelva or Cádiz than during this time of year. Acquainting yourself with Spain’s seafood menu in a beachside restaurant is a delicious and scenic treat.
Once the sun sets, those hot days turn into beautiful nights spent outside in a restaurant’s patio or one of Sevilla’s countless plazas. The season for La Liga, the premier soccer league of Spain and one of the most highly regarded in all of Europe, begins right around the time you arrive and so during many afternoons and evenings restaurants, patios, and tapas bars fill up as people watch games. You will also have the option of attending home games for Sevilla’s two profession soccer teams, Real Betis Balompié and Sevilla Fútbol Club. Whether you like soccer or not these games are always exciting cultural events.
As the semester progresses, and fall moves into winter, you will be less than 3 hours away from the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada. So, even though Sevilla is flat and itself rarely sees snow, skiing or snowboarding is a weekend option for its students.
Beginning soon after students arrive in the city, Sevilla hosts a number of notable events that significant attract national and international attention. During the Bienal de Flamenco, which will happen next in September and October of 2018, flamenco spills out of the bars and theaters and into the city streets. Events of all sorts highlight different aspects of this quintessential Spanish style of song, dance, and music.
Then, from the end of September until the early days of November, the Prado de San Sebastian is taken over by the Festival de las Naciones. This six week fair brings music, food, drink, and wares from all over the world into Sevilla. While the festival has a long daily schedule, be sure to check the extensive concert schedule so that you don’t miss any interesting singer or band.
Just as the Festival de las Naciones ends, Sevilla’s Festival de Cine Europeo begins. For 8 days, Sevilla hosts some of the continent’s most famous figures in cinema and its theaters are filled with all sorts of new, recent, and classic films. Anyone that loves movies cannot afford to miss this event.
Then, as your time in Sevilla is coming to a close, you will witness the spectacle of the Christmas season in Sevilla. Both the city’s government and large number of churches and convents ensure that December is filled with events like processions, visual art exhibitions, nativity scenes, winter sports, and musical performances. Additionally, all sorts of artists and vendors flock to Sevilla in order to cater to the large crowds.
Spring is a great time in Sevilla! As the weather gets warmer there is excitement and expectation in the air. Everyone is looking forward to two of the biggest events of the year, Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril (April Fair). Studying in the spring gives you the opportunity to experience, firsthand, cultural events for which people travel from all over the world.
The first of the two events is Semana Santa, which takes place during Easter Week and commemorates the last days of Jesus Christ, his crucifixion, and resurrection. In the name of this commemoration, the different religious brotherhoods of Sevilla organize elaborate processions in which they parade through the streets with statues and icons that belong to their particular churches. Incense, music, and singing accompany these processions. Additionally, the churches themselves are opened up and beautifully decorated for the week. These unique events attract an enormous national and international audience that fills the city streets and are a must see for anyone studying in Sevilla during the spring.
A mere two weeks after Semana Santa, Sevilla is taken over by the Feria de Abril. This event, which is centered in the Remedios neighbourhood, captivates the entire city and places the culture of Andalusia at the forefront. The streets fill up with men and women in traditional costumes on horses or in carriages. There are all sorts of vendors and carnival rides, and the air is filled with the strains of flamenco guitar, clapping, and singing. The Feria marks the beginning of the bullfighting season, and the Teatro de Maestranza is filled with bulls and spectators. In contrast to the sombre nature of Semana Santa, the Feria is celebratory and jubilant.
In addition to these highlights, the weather in Sevilla thaws during the spring. Restaurant patios open up just in time for audiences to gather and watch the closing weeks of the La Liga season. The region’s flowers and fruits begin to sprout and bloom and the city’s inhabitants turn off their heaters and move back out into the streets to enjoy one another’s company.
Centuries of History are waiting for you!
During your six weeks in Seville, you can choose to participate in the following site visits and trips that highlight different facets of Andalusia and its history.
Students will take a long weekend to explore the cities of Madrid and Segovia. In Madrid, they will visit the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, museums that hold world renowned artistic masterpieces from Spain and other parts of Europe. Students will also participate in walking tours in which they will see the city’s most famous neighborhoods, markets, plazas and cathedrals. During their day trip to Segovia, they will go to the Royal Glass Factory of La Granja, in which they will observe the fascinating and intricate techniques of glass production. Students will also take a tour through Segovia’s historical center where they will learn about the impressive Roman aqueduct that has served as the city’s most important landmark for over 2,000 years.
Just 20 minutes outside of Sevilla, the Roman city of Itálica gave the Roman world two emperors: Trajan and Hadrian. These days, it is an area of well-preserved Roman ruins, which include the remains of dwellings and a large amphitheater. Students will walk inside the amphitheater on the same ground where gladiator competitions took place while spectators looked on from above.
There are several beautiful beaches along Spain’s southern coast that are a short drive away from Sevilla, and if the weather permits, we will spend an afternoon enjoying one of them.
Students will take a day trip to the city of Córdoba, where they will visit the city’s Jewish quarter, which includes a synagogue from the 14th century, and the Mezquita-Catedral, a unique building whose beautiful architecture and complex history illustrate the multicultural history of Andalusia.
We will take an overnight trip to visit this beautiful mountain city. Students will visit the city’s cathedral and Capilla Real, where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel are buried. There will also be a tour of La Alhambra, Spain’s most famous Moorish castle, and one of the most visited monuments in Spain.