Her Story: What I Have Already Learned Within One Week of Living in Seville, Spain

It is amazing how much you can learn within just one week of studying abroad. I have only been in Seville for seven days and my mind has been filled with so much new knowledge about the life, people, and culture of Seville. It's amazing to learn so much in just a week, and I can't imagine how much I will have learned after three and a half months of living in this beautiful city.

People Walk Everywhere

Having your own personal car is not much of a thing in Seville. Yes, some people do, but Sevillians rely heavily on their feet to carry them from one place to another. It is A LOT of walking, but it is the best way to truly explore the city and all it has to offer. Plus, you would be surprised how quickly your body adjusts to walking everywhere. Before I came to Seville, walking across the street to Dacus Library seemed like a never-ending hike; but now, a 20-minute walk to class is a breeze, especially when you are walking through a city as beautiful as Seville.

Public Transportation

Along with walking, the public transportation in Seville is amazing! There are trains, buses, taxis, and a city-wide bike service that is available to everyone at low prices. So, if your destination is a little too far for walking, or if it is pouring down rain (which is not often in Seville), there are plenty of options to get from point A to point B.

FOOD

The food in Seville is unbeatable! Cafes, restaurants, bars, and tapas line the streets and are always open late on the weekends. The food is never expensive and is always superb. One of the best meals I have had is a tapa called “pincho de pollo” which is seasoned grilled chicken on a bed of potatoes, so yummy!

A weekend breakfast tradition in Seville is “churros con chocolate caliente”, which is churros that you dip in hot chocolate. The chocolate is perfectly sweet and slightly thick, it is by far one of the best meals I have had! Tapas is a tradition in Seville and are usually small plates of different types of food that you share with a group, it is not a full meal. Because it is light food that you share with others, people are able to hop around from tapas place to tapas place, eating and drinking their way through the night. It is a common way to enjoy time with friends on the weekend.

Siesta Time

There is a wonderful tradition in Seville called “siesta”. It takes place every day from about 2-5pm, right after lunch. This is a part of the day where most people rest, some shops and businesses closed. It is not a required thing to do, but it is alive and well in the culture of Seville. Due to siesta, people have the energy to go out after dinner on the weekends and stay out pretty much all night. During the week, you’re not going to find many people out late at night because they have school or work to go to the next day.

The History

Seville is rich with history. Just look around and you will see beautiful plazas, buildings, cathedrals, all that are hundreds of years old. Look down and you will find cobblestone streets that have been walked on by millions of people. Also, the amount of detail and décor that the infrastructure possesses is breathtaking.

My university, Universidad de Seville, is over 500 years old and was once a tobacco factory that was surrounded by a moat. The moat is still there, not full of water though, just a gulley full of cats now which is a sight to see.

 

Capability

Coming to Seville, my Spanish was not the best. I knew some basic terminology, but was not fluent by any stretch of the imagination. However, in just one week, I have already seen my Spanish skills grow so much through living with my senora, going to coffee shops, going shopping, ordering at restaurants, and exploring the city. I am happy I didn’t let my fear of being unfamiliar with the Spanish language keep me from studying abroad in Spain because I have learned so much and I am capable of so much more than I originally thought.   

So far, studying abroad has been an amazing decision, one of the best I have made. It is definitely an adjustment because you are living in a completely different country and you are experiencing a completely different culture, but I have learned to go easy on myself, not let the little things get to me, and most importantly, don’t take things personally. If you have considered studying abroad, or you are already in the process, do it! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something that you will never regret doing.