Mara’s Semester Overseas in Seville, Spain

Desirous to step into the footsteps of a faculty pupil who’s experiencing life in Seville? We just lately caught up with AIFS Overseas pupil Mara, a Psychology main with a minor in Enterprise and Communications from the College of South Florida. She spent her spring semester finding out overseas within the capital metropolis of Seville on our program at Universidad de Sevilla.

Learn on to be taught extra about her research overseas expertise with AIFS Overseas and the impression of being a global pupil in Seville.

Selecting a Examine Overseas Program Vacation spot & Time period

Deciding when and the place to review overseas is usually a problem for lots of scholars (our staff might help with that!), however irrespective of the place you go, you’re in for the journey of a lifetime! Mara selected Seville, the biggest metropolis within the Spanish area of Andalusia. Hear extra about why this dynamic metropolis in Spain hotspot was ideally suited for her semester overseas:

“I selected to review overseas in Sevilla as a result of I used to be searching for a location that was the right combine between small city and massive metropolis. I additionally wished to dwell in a metropolis that didn’t have English audio system fairly as accessible in comparison with different cities in Spain. I’d 100% advocate Sevilla. It is among the most lovely and walkable cities I’ve ever seen with phenomenal structure.”

However, why research overseas in Seville throughout spring semester particularly?

“I selected to review overseas in my Spring semester as a result of it made essentially the most sense with my diploma development. I felt that the transition of USA to Spain can be simpler within the second semester with regard to maneuver in at my dwelling college.”

Lecturers in Seville

Some of the thrilling elements of finding out overseas is taking distinctive, experiential programs at your host college or establishment! It lets you be in a unique studying surroundings than you’re used to again at dwelling, and might broaden your perspective. Via AIFS Overseas, Mara’s spring semester programs overseas have been taken at Universidad de Sevilla, which has an intensive college neighborhood made up of greater than 70,000 college students. The college strives to construct a extra human establishment that’s near the folks, which is ruled with them and for them, selling participation and dialogue.

“I studied on the Universidad de Sevilla and I cherished it! The precise constructing is an outdated tobacco manufacturing facility that was renovated for schooling and is stuffed with huge marble arches and sculptures. I cherished that the college was in metropolis middle. It was accessible and near loads of retailers and eating places.”

aifs abroad student at universidad de sevilla in seville, spain
Mara at Universidad de Sevilla in Seville, Spain

At Universidad de Sevilla, research overseas college students aren’t restricted to solely taking courses with college students from their respective organizations. Mara shares:

“My courses had college students from many various applications. I used to be not in any programs that solely had AIFS college students.”

Learning overseas presents a singular alternative to take programs in a brand new setting. Whether or not you’ve necessities to satisfy to finish your diploma or want to enroll in electives that merely pique your curiosity, there are tons of wonderful studying alternatives! In Mara’s case, she centered primarily on electives as a pupil in Seville with AIFS Overseas.

“I took Wine in Spain, Delicacies in Spain, Watercolor Portray in Sevilla, and Spanish Composition. My favourite courses have been the wine and delicacies courses as a result of they instantly correlated to my experiences within the metropolis and Spain on the whole! I selected to take solely elective courses, however lots of my associates took courses that pertained to a Spanish minor or main.”

Transitioning into a brand new tutorial setting may be an thrilling problem! Whilst you’re used to life as a school pupil on your house college’s campus being a sure approach, life as a pupil overseas isn’t going to be an actual duplicate of that have — together with within the classroom. Mara’s research overseas programs in Seville have been arrange a bit otherwise than those she usually takes on the College of Florida, sharing:

“Courses in Spain are positively structured otherwise than within the US. In my expertise, there have been solely exams and some initiatives for the complete semester, fairly than the constant load of homework I often obtain every night within the states. Courses in Spain often have been about 2 hours.”

aifs abroad study abroad student walking up steps at Plaza de España in seville, spain
Mara on the steps of Plaza de Sevilla in Seville, Spain

Language Studying

Enjoyable truth: It’s not a requirement to be fluent in a international language to review overseas! Whereas some course choices might require a sure stage of proficiency, we will accommodate language learners of all ranges on our applications. If language immersion scares you a bit, you’ll be able to all the time select to review overseas in an English-speaking nation, however we encourage you to push your self out of your consolation zone in case you’re in any respect . It may be extremely thrilling to be taught a brand new language as a pupil overseas — each inside and outdoors of the classroom!

Regardless of little or no Spanish abilities beneath her belt, Mara dedicated herself to an genuine language immersion in Seville.

“I got here into my research overseas expertise with virtually no Spanish comprehension. I definitely felt apprehensive about transferring to a rustic the place I didn’t perceive the language, however that was why I selected Spain within the first place. I wished to be taught from native audio system and I felt that leaping straight in was one of the best ways. It was not required to talk or perceive Spanish in my program. In case your objective is to be taught Spanish, immerse your self wherever you’ll be able to. Converse to your friends in Spanish. Order meals and store in Spanish. For those who dwell in a homestay, do your finest to reply in Spanish. It pays off and your language abilities will develop quick!”


Do you know all AIFS Overseas applications embody housing? Typical choices embody shared residences, pupil residences/dorms, and dwelling with a native household in a homestay. Mara’s lodging in Seville have been with a Spanish host household — an ideal approach to actually immerse your self within the native language and tradition, in addition to have a home-away-from-home surroundings.

“I lived in a homestay close to metropolis middle. I had a number mother and a roommate who was in my AIFS program. I had an exquisite expertise with my homestay. Generally there are challenges in adjusting to dwelling with one another, however in case you take the time to get to know your host household and adapt to the Spanish life-style, its extremely fulfilling. Communication is essential. I cherished having a ‘dwelling’ to return to after a program journey or a protracted day of courses.”

Making Buddies Overseas

Faculty is commonly the primary time many college students are out on their very own, forging friendships with different college students that may turn out to be virtually like household. Due to this, it may be comprehensible that some are on the fence about doing a research overseas program alone or contemplate holding off making use of till a pal is out there to go together with them. Clearly the extra the merrier, however we advocate that you simply research overseas when it’s handy for you. Chances are high you’ll forge new friendships as soon as overseas, like Mara did as a pupil in Seville with AIFS Overseas.

“I went into this system realizing nobody prematurely. This was positively a supply of tension for me, nevertheless it’s essential to keep in mind that Rome wasn’t inbuilt a day and neither are friendships, and that’s okay too.

As my program went on, my friendships developed naturally because of how a lot time we spent collectively and the shared experiences of journey. It’s tough to not turn out to be associates whenever you do programming and courses collectively! There isn’t any have to rush rapid friendships, this system handles it for you.

The one factor I’d advocate is to take the time. It by no means hurts to ask somebody to seize a espresso with you after class or invite them to a brand new metropolis over the weekend!”

Social & Cultural Actions

Every AIFS Overseas program consists of social and cultural actions, in addition to excursions — and our research overseas program in Seville is not any exception! These co-curricular experiences are an incredible approach to be taught exterior of the classroom, and for college kids to get to know their host area and its tradition. College students in Seville can select from quite a lot of exercise choices, however Mara cherished our program-led 3-day tour to Granada, one other unbelievable vacation spot within the area of Andalusia.

“My favourite tour with AIFS was our in a single day to Granada. Town was unbelievable and we had quite a lot of time to get to know one another (this journey occurred early on earlier than friendships had been solidified). Granada has an incredible tapas tradition and vibrant night time life that was enjoyable to discover!”

aifs abroad student in seville, spain during local cultural festival
Mara with locals in Spain

Tradition Shock & Cultural Immersion

Once you first arrive to your research overseas vacation spot and begin to transition into your life abroad, odds are it’s possible you’ll expertise a bit little bit of tradition shock. That stated, it may be completely different for every pupil! Some expertise it roughly than others. In Mara’s case, the slower-paced Spanish life-style was what she needed to alter to most.

“For me, the strangest a part of dwelling in Spain was the distinction in tempo through which we dwell our lives. Life in Sevilla is slower. Outlets shut down for siesta. Folks stroll alongside the river and actually dwell within the second. For me, that was essentially the most stunning and rewarding change to adapt to.”

However did Mara love most concerning the tradition in Seville or Spain at massive? She shares her favourite parts or experiences, each in daily life and distinctive one-off adventures.

“I cherished how being ‘within the second’ was inspired in Sevilla. The times are longer which supplies you extra time to discover town, seize tapas with your mates, or journey to a brand new location on a whim! Usually occasions, I’d see folks of all ages within the streets of Sevilla simply having fun with the corporate of one another and spending time within the metropolis.”

“I took a solo journey to Málaga over a weekend and had an incredible time assembly new folks in my hostel and exploring town! The folks you meet in your travels will educate you classes about life that you simply received’t be taught at school. I stayed up effectively into the morning simply studying about everybody’s life and the way they obtained to this second in time. It’s actually probably the most fulfilling experiences to be round like-minded people who find themselves captivated with exploration and immersion into completely different cultures.”

aifs abroad student in Spain
Mara having fun with an attractive day in Spain

Progress Via Training Overseas

There’s no scarcity of progress that occurs whenever you research overseas. Whether or not you select to go abroad for a full semester like Mara or for just some weeks on a short-term program, you’ll see an immense change in your self academically, personally, and professionally.

“Personally, I discovered to dwell within the second and problem myself. I discovered how one can journey safely and ebook lodging. Academically, as a result of I took programs that have been completely different than what I’ve been finding out for the final three years, I discovered how one can suppose another way. For the primary time shortly, I used to be in a position to take a look at the world by a human and cultural perspective fairly than STEM perspective I used to be used to.”

As for the longer term, Mara’s targets have modified barely on account of broadening her horizons by her research overseas expertise.

“My future targets have modified a bit as a result of now I do know there are extra choices than I initially thought. I met many individuals who have been instructing English in Spain as a spot 12 months between their undergrad and masters, and that’s opened up a door of prospects I didn’t know of earlier than.”

Ultimate Ideas

Mara’s remaining phrases of knowledge for future research overseas individuals? Permit your self to exit of your consolation zone and embrace the ebbs-and-flows of your worldwide schooling expertise.

“Learning overseas will include its personal set of challenges, and that’s the perfect half! We develop finest in moments of discomfort, so don’t let the worry of change or the unknown outline your expertise. There will probably be ups and downs overseas, identical to there will probably be ups and downs in case you keep at your house college. That’s a part of the expertise, and for my part, essentially the most impactful a part of finding out overseas. This chance is an unbelievable catalyst for private progress. Reside within the second. Make the most of the accessibility of different cities and international locations which are close to you. Be taught as a lot as you’ll be able to about different cultures and other people, and in flip, you’ll be taught a lot about your self.”

Are you a pupil who’s able to take the leap and research overseas in Seville like Mara did with AIFS Overseas? We’d love that will help you begin your journey!

Right here at AIFS Overseas, we all know a factor or two about serving to faculty college students and pre-professionals research and intern overseas. Our applications are extremely inclusive, which takes quite a lot of the stress out of planning. From coordinating your housing to offering issues like cultural and social actions, excursions, complete insurance coverage, 24/7 emergency help, on-site employees, and extra, you’ll take consolation in realizing you’ll have help all through your complete expertise overseas.

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