Hi! My name is Elizabeth Simpson, and I am a senior Health Science major with a minor in Spanish. I’ll be graduating in May, and will hopefully be going to graduate school to become an Occupational Therapist. In Spring of 2017, I studied abroad in the Faculty Directed Program to Seville, Spain.
As a Health Science major, I was able to complete courses that counted directly towards my requirements for graduation, such as a course in Hospital Administration and a course in Global Health Services Management. I was also able to complete my Spanish minor, and also take courses that I would not typically have access to here at Clemson, such as a class about Spain’s role in the European Union. Another plus about this program is that I got to live with a Spanish family that was carefully chosen as part of this program. My host family was amazing, and it was great to be able to be a part of a family. My host mom, Menchu, cooked all of our meals and did our laundry. Menchu was also able to answer any questions we had about Seville, or Spain in general. The best part is that all of this was included in the cost of the program that I paid to Clemson!
However, my favorite part of my study abroad experience overall was that I had so many opportunities to travel! Through the program, we took trips to places such as Madrid, Córdoba, Cáceres, and Mérida. One of the professor’s from the program led these trips, and gave us insights and information that we wouldn’t have learned in any other typical tour of these places. We also had excursions to places in Seville, like the Cathedral and the Royal Palace, where again, we learned more from our professor than we could have from a regular tour. Apart from the school trips, I was also able to travel with friends from my program to many different cities in Europe, including Lisbon, Portugal, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Chefchaouen, Morocco.
Though I traveled as often as possible, I always loved returning back to Seville, because it was my favorite city that I visited my whole time abroad. During the spring semester, we had two weeks off from school because of events going on in the city. The first week was for Semana Santa (Holy Week), and it was such an incredible experience. During Semana Santa, there are multiple processions each day leading up to Easter. These processions were incredible to watch. The other break followed two weeks later, and that was for the Seville Fair, which was again an incredible experience. My apartment was right next to the fair grounds, so I was able to go and enjoy the fair almost every day. Everyone dresses up, and many women wear flamenco-style dresses.
I am so happy that I chose this program to study abroad. I was given so many unique opportunities, such as class work that counted towards my major and minor, living with a host family, and also traveling with my program. I was also able to immerse myself in the culture of Seville by attending celebrations for Semana Santa and the Seville Fair, going to watch Flamenco shows, and even participating in a Flamenco dance class. Though certain aspects of studying abroad are difficult, I believe that this program was best because first of all, the directors are always available to help in any way, and second, because it is through Clemson. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! My email is email@example.com.