Study Abroad in Seville, Spain

Providing unique learning experiences for North American university students since 1969

Seville Study Abroad: Overview

Seville is a beautiful and ancient city with a temperate climate and a rich cultural life. The setting of operas Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and Carmen;  birthplace of painters Velázquez and Murillo; Moorish palaces and Renaissance gardens;  paintings, statues, and world-famous ceramic tiles. At the same time, Seville is very cosmopolitan. The bustling commercial center is filled with traditional business and trade activities, and an efficient public transportation system links the various neighborhoods and attractions. The sevillanos are a gracious and social people – welcoming to visitors and eager to introduce them to the life and culture of their city.

Seville Study Abroad: Cultural Information

Andalucía’s capital is a beautiful and ancient city on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Its temperate climate and rich cultural life embodies the spirit of traditional southern Spanish culture, from flamenco to bullfighting, to winding ancient cobblestone streets.

Spanish Daily Routine

Breakfast/Desayuno is not a major meal, consisting of small amount of food and is generally eaten early in the morning.

Lunch/Almuerzo is the biggest and most important meal of the day and is generally eaten between 2:00 and 4:00PM.

Dinner/Cena is a small meal, although more substantial than breakfast and is generally served between 9:00 and 10:00 PM.

Siesta is a time to rest. It starts around 1:30 PM when all the shops begin to close, and lasts until 5:00 PM. Almost all shops are closed during siesta while Spaniards may sleep or watch TV, leaving you no choice but to also relax.

Traditional Spanish Dishes

Paella is a rice dish commonly mixed with a variation of seafood, meat, vegetables, and beans.

Tortilla is a dense omelet full of fried potatoes (sometimes onions or another vegetable as well).

Jamón Serrano is a salted, cured ham that is sliced thin and is typically served either on its own or in a bocadillo (sandwich).

Vegetarians/Vegans: Spanish culture is not particularly vegetarian/vegan friendly due to the importance of ham and other pork products in their diet. While the salads may not be filling, Spain offers delicious breads, cheeses, and vegetables dishes.

How to dress in Spain

Most Spanish people dress up more than the average American. Young men wear jeans and t-shirts or soccer jerseys, but you’ll also see men wearing nice pants and shoes. Women generally wear very feminine clothing.

To fit in with your surroundings, avoid wearing grubby jeans, sweatshirts, and sneakers. Nice, fitted clothing is what most people wear.

Life Outside the Classroom

Spanish people tend to be very friendly and open. However, you will need to make an effort to introduce yourself. Some of the best ways to do so are by signing up for a local speaking partner, attending Spanish Studies cultural activities, or by going to the places Spanish students hang out.

Spanish Studies Abroad wants you to have fun while studying abroad; however, you are expected to meet all of your academic responsibilities. Spanish nightlife is probably unlike the social scene you have experienced in the U.S. The Spanish often plan to go out at midnight or later, which is just the start of the evening. Many friends you meet will stay out until six or seven in the morning, then go straight to breakfast, and rest during siesta.

Liberal Arts in Spanish

Take courses in Spanish specifically designed for study abroad students. Attend classes with other international students studying Spanish language, culture, history, business, education, social sciences, and more. Spanish Studies Abroad on-site Resident Directors and local professors teach a cultural reflection course to help you understand and integrate.

Liberal Arts in Advanced Spanish

Advanced students enroll in one or more regular courses in Spanish at the host university to complement the Spanish Studies Program curriculum. Sit side-by-side with local students. We provide you with all the benefits of direct enrollment, including access to campus resources and integration into the university community. On-site resident directors assist each student individually with course selection and registration, and select a tutor for academic support.

International Studies in English Programs

Take coursework through the local university, in English, with local and international students. Most courses are in English, while some courses are offered in Spanish for those with more advanced skills. Take a Spanish language course and electives in English, benefit from cultural activities, study tours, and support from our resident director. A variety of courses include humanities, business, science and more.

Short-Term Programs

If you can’t get away for a full semester, short-term programs are the best option. Courses offered at all levels of Spanish, in most disciplines: general Spanish language, Spanish for the professions, literature and history, business and economics, education and health sciences, social sciences, and more. We offer January, May, and/or Summer Terms.

Internship & Service Learning Programs

Gain hands-on experience side-by-side with local workers and volunteers while earning credit and learning Spanish. Learn through experience and reflection. Spanish Studies Abroad draws from its extensive network of collaborators to find the most appropriate placement for each student.

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The Center for Cross-Cultural Study

Our Center in Seville is housed in two turn-of-the-century mansions in the heart of Seville’s commercial and social center.
We offer a variety of cultural, language, and content courses right within our own walls.

Modern Facilities in a Historic Building

• Multi-media classrooms
• Student computer labs with over 30 work stations and printers
• Wi-Fi internet access throughout the building
• Central heating and air conditioning
• Indoor and outdoor patios, library, writing center, study rooms and lounges

A Unique Cultural Experience

• More than 200 sevillanos take English classes at the Center, thus facilitating contact between the American and Spanish students on site
• On-site cultural activities (movies, dances, music, etc.)
• Regular guided study visits to local sites of interest
• Monthly fiestas at the Center for American and Spanish students
• Speaking Partners

On-Site Faculty and Staff

• On-site Resident Director and Staff
• Housing Coordinator
• Activities Coordinator
• Tenured professors
• Faculty office hours and tutoring
• Staff escorts for medical visits

Visit our local Facebook page for Seville

Get an idea of typical activities that students are getting up to!

Excursions in Seville

Spanish Studies programs feature all-inclusive study visits with accommodations, meals, entrance fees and expert professors and guides. Site visit destinations vary according to program.

Additionally, Spanish Studies organizes Optional Leisure Activities (OLA) and cultural events such as bullfights at the Real Maestranza, performances at the Teatro de la Maestranza, and weekend trips. You can see the Center’s Activities Calendars by semester of both included and optional activities.

Plaza de España, Parque de María Luisa, Sevilla

Local study visits may include:

  • Museo de Bellas Artes, a fine arts museum converted from a 15th-century convent
  • Archivo de Indias, home to centuries of historical documents that chronicle Spain’s role in the Americas
  • Itálica, a vestige of the Roman Empire in Southern Spain
  • Seville’s principal monuments, such as the catedral and the Alcázar, a 10th-century Moorish Palace
  • Art exhibits, concerts and evenings at the theater

Day and overnight* excursions may include:

  • Roman, Muslim, and Jewish monuments in Córdoba, Mérida & Cáceres
  • The monastary of La Rábida, where Columbus planned his first voyage to the Americas
  • The great Hispano-Muslim monuments of Granada at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains

*There are no overnight excursions in any of the short term programs.

La Alhambra, Granada, Sevilla

Housing in Seville

Students may select to live with a local host family or in a student residencia*.

Your homestay includes full room and board as well as laundry and the cleaning of your room.

Special dietary or housing accommodations may be made, but may require an additional fee.

To ensure that your home will provide a warm and tranquil atmosphere, one conducive to learning, Spanish Studies Abroad staff discusses norms and policies with hosts and regularly inspects the homes.

Homestays allow you to actually live with a local family, to sit with them at dinner, to speak Spanish regularly outside the classroom setting and truly learn what it feels like to be a member of the community.

Our Housing Coordinator chooses housing placements very carefully. Most of the families who host Spanish Studies Abroad students have been working with us for years and come with the highest recommendations from former students.

Don’t forget to consider a homestay gift for your host family!

  • Residencia spaces are limited and students with special health and dietary needs have first priority
Residencia universitaria
Local family
tutoring kids

Tutoring Local Kids Learning English

In Seville and Alicante, Spanish Studies Abroad students have the option to participate in English Tutoring Program to assist Spanish children who are learning English. This is a great opportunity to both teach about American culture and learn about Spanish culture from a new perspective. Students interested in tutoring are encouraged to approach the Spanish Studies Resident Director or office staff once they arrive on-site to set up a tutoring partnership.

Past students in the Córdoba Semester Programs have also volunteered as tutors with local Argentine students. Students interested in setting up a tutoring partnership should talk to the Resident Director once in Córdoba.

Universities in Seville

There are two public Universities in Seville we work with, which are among the best in Spain.


The Universidad de Sevilla (USEV) is an institution of higher education committed to study, teaching and research, as well as the generation, development and expansion of knowledge to serve citizens and society.  Closely linked to the history of Seville and Andalusia, the USEV combines the values of tradition with those of an innovative institution of quality and excellence.  It is a university as cutting edge and cosmopolitan as the city of Seville itself. 

The Universidad Pablo de Olavide (UPO) is a public university committed to high quality education.  UPO is located in a single campus and equipped with the latest technologies.  The campus is just outside of the city of Seville, easily accessible via subway and bus.  Teaching, research, and social and sport activities are all within its 140 hectares of land.

The UPO is officially recognized as the second most important Spanish University in investigative leadership.

Meet your Director of Academic Affairs

Michelle Duran 3

Dr. Michelle Durán, a native of Puerto Rico, is both the Resident Director for Seville and the Director of Academic Affaris for Spanish Studies Abroad. She is responsible for course development, assessment and overall academic quality of Spanish Studies programs in Spain, Argentina, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Prior to assuming her duties as Academic Director, Michelle served as both faculty member and Resident Director of the Spanish Studies Seville Program. In that capacity she has been responsible for the introduction and implementation of new methods of assessment on-site in Seville. She did her undergraduate work at Amherst College, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.

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