Why did you choose this program? I wanted a program where I knew I would be able to practice my Spanish. I was interested in the history of Andalucía, too.
Describe your favorite classes abroad. My favorite class was by far my translation class. We were given either Spanish or English texts and we had to translate them into the target language. It was really challenging because you had to make sure that what you translated made sense and that you did not translate word for word, since it would just be a jumble of words that did not go together.
What was housing like on your study abroad program? In my program, you could choose to live in a residencia (dorm-like style) or with a host family. I chose to live with a host family because I wanted to be able to speak the language at all times. I lived with my host mom and host dad and their three cats. My host dad worked and did the cooking while my host mom tidied up around the house and took care of my needs as well (laundry, cleaning my room) even though I could have done it myself, they always did everything for me. It was a great way to stay in the target language. The cats were silly, too! One would try to take the bread from the table as we ate.
Advice to Future Study Abroad Participants: Make sure you have comfortable shoes! Seville’s streets are all cobblestoned and they are uncomfortable on your feet if you do not have nice enough shoes. If you study in the summer, make sure to have sunblock. When I left on May 11th, the temperature was 104.2 F, which is typical for summer.
Greatest Challenge: My greatest challenge in Seville was understanding the accent. It can be very difficult at times but after a while, you get really used to it.
Complete this sentence: "If I could do it over, I would…" Stay longer. I stayed an extra month but I still feel like it wasn't enough.
What fact about your host country do you think people would be surprised to learn? The Spanish siesta is not just a time for sleep in the middle of the day. During the siesta, shops will close down for a few hours (the hottest hours of the day) and you will go have a big lunch and spend time with the family. There may be some naps afterward, but it is more a get together period at home when one can cool off during the hot time of day.
How did you find scholarships for study abroad? I was able to use my 21st Century Scholars award as well as the IU Covenant award. The rest I used loans. It is always best to look into other scholarships if you think you may not be able to afford the program. There are certain awards you may qualify for if you are studying abroad in certain areas of the world. It's always best to apply for them so you can have some extra money to fall back on.