Brighid - Universidad Pablo de Olavide

B International Studies
Semester 1, 2019
Sevilla is one of the best cities in the world. I am 100% biased towards it, and if you go you will be too.

Academic experience

At UPO I studied a Spanish language class, History of Spain, Contemporary Spanish Politics, Nobel Prizes in Spanish and Latin American Literature, and Christianity, Islam and Judaism in the Spanish Context. I found all these classes to be very informative of Spanish culture and history, and I enjoyed them immensely. The add/drop period for classes is very short at the beginning of semester and it is all done by paper, which I found very surprising.


If you are taking a Spanish language class, be warned that there is a placement test at the beginning of semester and you will be placed according to your result. Don't forget to study beforehand like I did.

Personal experience

I was the only Australian at UPO and it really pushed me to reach out to new people and make friends with people from all over the world. I became very familiar with the history of Sevilla through multiple student walking tours of the city, and I feel like it is my second home.

Accommodation

I lived with a host family in Sevilla and was a short metro ride away from campus. I loved my host family and grew very close with my American roommate. I would really recommend living with a host family. My family spoke virtually no English and my Spanish really improved.

Costs

The homestay option, organised through the university, included all my food costs. It was around £3200 for the entire semster. I spent around £25 a month on public transportation. I would save up for taking trips on the weekends.

Challenge

The biggest challenge I faced was adapting my accent in Spanish to match the Sevillian accent, which is very different from the rest of Spain.

Professional Development

I have really developed my intercultural communication skills, along with my fluency in Spanish. I've also really improved my ability to connect with new people and make friends with more ease.

Highlight

I was able to take a trip down to Morocco to the Sahara Desert, and I rode camels into the dunes to watch the sunset.


I also was able to go to Gibraltar, a British overseas territory that's attached to the Iberian Peninsula, where I was accosted by one of the only wild monkeys in Europe.

Top tips

I suggest you join the ERASMUS Club Sevilla, they organise group trips and it is a great way to spend time with new friends and experience other cities. Go out of your way to engage with the Spanish students and join the language buddy program. You may not actually have classes with the Spanish students, you'll mostly be with other international students.
Everyone uses Whatsapp.
Go to a Sevilla FC football match!!!
Don't be worried if you have a bit of a slump at the beginning of your exchange, it is completely normal. Mine lasted for two weeks. Everyone else will be experiencing it too and don't be afraid to talk to others about it.