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Adelante Abroad: Semester and Summer Study Abroad in Sevilla
Anthony Beesley is from Washington state in the USA and attended school at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is twenty-two years old and enjoys everything about foreign languages, from translation to teaching.
GO: Why did you decide to study abroad with Adelante?
Anthony: As a French major, my priority was to spend a year in France, and this was in fact my original plan. However, when it was established that I could finish my degree after only one semester there, I set my sights on Spain and earning my Spanish minor. However, after meeting with my advisor, I was a bit discouraged by the options I was given since my Spanish wasn't quite advanced enough for the available programs. That was when my advisor remembered a student who had gone to Spain with Adelante Abroad. Their program, she said, was flexible and open to language learners at my level. The opportunity to live in Seville was exciting to me, and from that point on, it was decided.
GO: What made this experience unique and special?
Anthony: What really made this study abroad experience special for me was the way that Adelante looked after me. Both my contact and my host mom greeted me warmly and went above and beyond to help me get oriented and comfortable with traveling in the city. Since the program fee included meals and laundry, I never had to worry about buying groceries or hauling my clothes to a laundromat--responsibilities I had already appreciated in France, but was glad to be free of for awhile--and I even had my bedroom to myself. But Adelante didn't stop there. Throughout my stay, my contact kept in touch, informing me of cultural events, inviting me to breakfast with the group, and even sending me to a Flamenco performance. This attention was really important to me, and I think it helps Adelante's study abroad program stand out from the crowd.
GO: How has this experience impacted your future?
Anthony: Before I left for Spain, I was enthusiastic about the Spanish language. Now, I'm fairly in love--not just with the language, but with the culture and the people as well. My time in Spain has been invaluable to me on several levels; for example, it has had a huge impact on my professional plans for the future. Several doors have opened up for me, possibilities I hadn't considered before, some of which would involve returning to Spain. On a personal level, as someone who tends to be shy, this experience has helped me become more outgoing, independent, and open-minded--tools which will prove essential to my career. Besides that, it's given me a taste of a fascinating culture, and I'm hungry for more!
GO: Why did you decide to study abroad with Adelante in Seville, Spain?
Shannon: I knew I wanted to study in Spain, but all of the programs were extremely expensive. Adelante was the best value to go to Spain, and had good reviews on the websites I visited. When I got there, I found that my program was comparable to many other programs, it just did not have vacations included. I found that to be an advantage because I could explore where and when I wanted with the friends I made at school (many different study abroad programs attend the same school).
GO: What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Shannon: I really enjoyed my host family. They were extremely kind and friendly!
GO: How has this experience impacted your future?
Shannon: I would really like to go back to Spain, and I am always looking for ways to go back and visit the family I lived with and the Spanish friends I made! My Spanish skills improved tremendously as well. I feel it is something that has set me apart in my application, as well. In a larger sense, it made me much more culturally sensitive.
What makes studying abroad in Seville a unique experience for students?
The history, culture and beauty of the city of Seville, it's a central location for exploring other parts of Andalusia.
What can you tell us about the culture in Seville?
Andalusians tend to be louder and very expressive. Sometimes their higher tone of voice may be interpreted as shouting or anger by international students. The concept of space is very different - personal space is much smaller here as people stand closer to each other when they speak and apartments, cars, etc. tend to be smaller.
What level of Spanish proficiency do students need to have before enrolling in this program?
Our Study (Spring and Fall Semester) Program can accept absolute beginners as we offer an intensive Spanish course for beginners as well as content courses in English. For those who have some knowledge of Spanish, there are six levels of Spanish language courses. A Spanish language course is not obligatory but is highly recommended. Our Summer Program requires an intermediate level and courses are taken in both historic Sevilla as well as in a beach setting for 3 weeks!
What are some extra-curricular activities participants enjoy while studying in Seville?
There are several activities included in the program fee such as intercambio (exchange partner) events, Spanish/English tables, a visit to the beautiful town of Carmona (each fall semester), a visit to the Roman ruins of Italica (each spring semester), a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, etc. There are also day trips such as trips to the mountains, to Cordoba, to Estepa & Osuna (to see a factory that makes mantecados - the typical Spanish holiday sweets), among others.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering studying abroad in Seville?
Come with an open mind and embrace and enjoy the differences! You will learn about a whole new culture, improve your Spanish and learn so much!
What were you doing in 1999? That is when Adelante Abroad sent its first candidate to Madrid, Spain, to do an International Internship Program there. She participated in a 6 month program, in a graphic design internship with a mid-sized company and lived, at first, on her own in a great little downtown apartment. By the following month we sent over two more candidates and have never looked back.
Internship, Semester & Summer Study, Teach and Volunteer Abroad programs define our menu of offerings and expertise now. Yes, you have your own room in a central, shared apartment, but meals are typically not included because we want you to grocery shop in your new country. Yes, we have staff on site full time but do they call you every day to check in? Nope. They are there if you need them but are trained to give you space to bump into things, make mistakes and finally find, on your own, how you fit in to your new country & home.