Why did you choose this program?
ICS's program is very complete and helps the students to get involved in the new culture in an easy way. Being far away is difficult to know how the program really offers and how it works, but with ICS it was a problem. From the first moment, they caught my attention. I was evaluating my possibilities in different programs, but ICS was my number one option.
It was in a good location, Seville has a great influence in history as we know today, art is represented in every single corner of the city and the cities have a great cultural diversity. They have excellent reviews, I had the opportunity to meet few students who went the semester before I assisted and they were in love with everything. It is an excellent program in a wonderful location and with the best people that help you make your experience unique and special.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
The program provider was very detailed in the program's aspects from the beginning until the end. They answer you all the questions you have with the best attitude and always trying to help the students. They explain to you the application process step by step and give you a hand with the aspects you are struggling with. They are comprehensive people and very kind, it is lovely how helpful they are. I had a very good relationship with the program provider and communicate with them never was a problem. I had a great experience with the program provider from home and the one located in Seville, both were very understanding and helpful.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
It is a great opportunity to know new cultures and a new side of you. If you have the opportunity just go for it, it is incredible how much knowledge you will get and the way you will appreciate life with a different perspective. Art is reflected in all shapes, in the streets, in the monuments, in how the people are educated and their point of view of life.
Be conscious of every single minute, it is very valuable because the time goes fast. In a blink, you are back to the airport taking the flight back home. Life is about details and it is clearly expressed with this experience. You are the one who makes it special, it counts when you are detailed and appreciate the people that are around you. It is a challenge to immerse you into a new lifestyle and the same time it is the most grateful experience.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
It is very dynamic, I was very motivated to start a new day. I am the kind of person who likes to start a day early, I was able to go to the International College of Seville in the morning for my classes; and then, in the afternoon I used to go to University of Seville for the other courses I was taking. I used to visit new places, like monuments, churches, visit parks, see the sunset by the river, meet new people, and other cities.
I like to be involved in different activities, for that reason I was very involved with the ones that ICS offered, I really enjoyed the dance classes (it were twice a week), cooking classes (once a week) and the internship opportunities. At the end of the day, I loved to dinner with my housemother, we talked so much about different topics. It was a regular weekday, on weekends it was pretty different, I liked to walk around town all day and explore new places.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I had few things that I did know I I will deal with when I was planning to study abroad. First, how I will deal with time management, breaking my comfort zone, adapting myself to the new culture and the way I would be independent.
I tried to be organized and I had a list of the things that I wanted to do; also with google maps, I located the places that I wanted to visit. It helped me to complete my checklist, I had to identify my priorities and responsibilities, it was the best way to manage my time correctly.
I had to be open-minded about the different things that study abroad offers you and don't be afraid to try new things, breaking my comfort zone includes being responsible for my acts. Now that I am back home I see how that helped me to improve in my every day, also It made me be conscious of how important is to value you acts and times that life gives you.
Things to do before traveling?
I recommend to pack lightly, you will bring a lot of things back home. You will notice that you do not need so many things to live perfect, with a pair of walking shoes you are good to explore and feel like you are living. I was able to notice that sometimes we depend on things that are not necessary, enjoy moments and people who are around you.
If you are planning to travel, I recommend you to buy the tickets as soon as possible, they are cheaper and as a student to save money is awesome. Also, ask for student discounts, they have in cultural visits great deals for students. Used Pinterest to find places to visit and the days that are for free. As an art and history lover, before traveling I used to study the destination history, influence, art and unique places. It makes it easier to travel; because you know the history of the things we appreciate with our eyes.