I recently wrote an article with tips for study-abroad students headed to Seville. Of course, I couldn’t include everything I wanted to say—they asked me for 1,000 words, not 1,000,000—but I tried to be as comprehensive as possible without compromising conciseness.
That said, I’m curious: Do you agree with me?
In the article I highlighted four points:
- The accent here is rough.
- The climate is anything but tropical.
- It’s possible to spend six months here without improving your Spanish.
- If you want to study in Seville, stay in Seville.
The way I see it, the first three points are just universal truths: Andalucía is notorious for its accent. The climate here is Mediterranean, but in a place where central heat is sparse, the winter is anything but balmy. And of course, if you spend your semester holed up in expat pubs, you won’t see great gains in your Spanish skills.
But I expect some people might disagree with the fourth point. I have my own travel philosophy as it relates to study abroad, which is that a “semester in Seville” really ought to be a semester in Seville—that is, not a hopscotch game across Europe.
I gained a lot from choosing to spend the majority of my time here, from friendships to a sense of direction. It has everything to do with quantity vs. quality: I opted to get to know one city on a profound level rather than traveling every weekend to see a million places and never knowing much about them. Of course, travel has its virtues—I’m hoping I’ll have a chance next year to finally see some of the places I never visited before. But I’m glad I didn’t make my semester into a 5-month-long RyanAir marathon.
Anyways, there are about 19 million other tidbits I could have included in the article, but hopefully the points I made will help a confused college kid or two. But probably not, because what is study abroad, really, if not a time to drink with other Americans?
But please, pray tell: What other tips would you give to students in Seville? I’m talking about tips we haven’t heard before, something other than, “Take a chance! Befriend a Spaniard!” (that’s a good tip, but you know, easier said than done).
If I’m ever asked to write another article like this, here are my topic pitches:
- Navigating Creeper Ocean in Sevilla’s discoteca scene
- Critical vocabulary when going for a facial piercing in Spain
- How to spend Valentine’s Day by yourself in Sevilla when all your friends are at Carnaval
- The right and wrong way to respond when some dude grabs your ass on Calle Betis
…I’m not expecting to be asked to write another article.