The Daily Gamecock

Guest Column: Sevilla experience life-changing

Study abroad experience a gateway to unique opportunities

When my alarm sounded at 10 a.m. every day to take on the adventures that awaited me during my time studying abroad, I would always smile. Waking up in the morning is not a 20-year-old’s favorite thing to do, but when “the world awaits” you can’t help but be excited.

I got dressed, drank my tea and headed out on my walk to the University of Sevilla. I crossed the Triana Bridge, stared at the Torre de Oro and gawked at the top of the cathedral, La Giralda. Every day as I walked to class, I dreaded the day I would have to leave. When that night finally came, I didn’t even remember what life was like before Sevilla, and I was already counting the days to go back.

Living and studying in Sevilla, Spain, last fall semester changed my life. Not only did I eat some of the best food on the planet, but I learned another language and another way of living. I stayed with a host family; a 60-year-old couple, their 30-year-old daughter and 2-year-old-granddaughter. My host parents made me feel like I was their real daughter, teaching me and guiding me through my Spanish life.

One of the best parts of being abroad was the support and guidance of International Studies Abroad (ISA). The on-site staff was available 24 hours a day and they were some of the best people I have ever met. They were all Sevilla natives and lead us on our excursions and helped us plan evening activities. They knew where to get the best “churros y chocolate” or which tapas restaurant had the best sangria.

My experience with ISA did not end after leaving Sevilla. I now have an internship with ISA, promoting my amazing experience and talking about how everyone should go abroad. I plan on going back someday to visit my host family and see everything again.

Don’t wait; now is the time. When else in your life will you get to live like a true Sevillan? Go into the university Study Abroad office and tell them you want to go abroad with International Studies Abroad. Visit and start your adventure. The world awaits!