Spanish American Institute of International Education - SAIIE - About Seville

dancing-sevillanasSo you’ve decided you want to study abroad… but now you have to decide where! The choice of study abroad programs dotted all over Spain can be overwhelming when looking for a program provider or destination, but if you’re looking for a city full of Spanish culture and tradition, look no further.

Seville is situated in southern Spain and is the capital of Andalucía, with good connections to other major cities and commercial hubs. You can be whizzed off to the Spanish capital of Madrid on the high speed train in just two and half hours, or spend some downtime on the beautiful beaches located an hour away between the months of March and October. In the winter the Sierra Nevada mountains provide the opportunity to go skiing, and are only two and a half hours from Seville. Needless to say, the mild winter climate and 300 days of sun per year makes for a very pleasant atmosphere and relaxed way of life, giving Seville an edge over other cities further in the north of Spain and Europe.

seville-cathedralThe area of Andalucía is undoubtedly one of the most traditional regions in Spain, meaning Seville, as it’s charming capital, brings together an eclectic mix of modern city vibes and traditional Spanish culture… think buzzing tapas bars, impressive Moorish architecture, religious festivals, flamenco (Spanish dancing, music and fashion rolled into one), lazy afternoon siestas… the list goes on and on. Many (if not all) of the stereotypes you have heard about Spain and Spanish culture are most probably true of Seville. From the traditional sport of bullfighting to the enchanting atmosphere at the Feria de Abril (April fair), or watching the impressive processions during Semana Santa, there’s never a dull moment in this breathtaking city.

inside-the-alcazarAs well as having a large student population, the city offers a wealth of possibilities for studying Liberal Arts. Seville is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its gothic Cathedral, the Archivo de Indias (a collection of important documents concerning the discovery of the New World), and the Alcázar (royal palace). Together, these monuments perfectly epitomize the Spanish “Golden Age” and provide for very interesting historical and cultural studies, covering periods of Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian reign, and displaying the true mixture of cultures that have each affected and left their mark on the city of Seville in their own way. Even without mentioning these three monuments, there is no shortage of beautiful architectural and historical sights, each with their own unique story and history behind it: the Parque Maria Luisa and Plaza de España, Las Setas (giant wooden structure overlooking the city), the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla (Seville’s bullring), the Torre del Oro… With this in mind, we encourage students to get out into the city on a regular basis and often use the city itself as our classroom to integrate active learning and cultural immersion into our program.

view-from-atop-las-setasSeville has also provided inspiration to famous writers, artists and musicians over the years to produce some of the pieces that most define Spanish culture today. To list a few examples, the famous Renaissance painter Diego Velázquez, who was a through-and-through “sevillano”. Antonio Machado, the Manuel brothers and Joaquín Romero Murube were all influential Sevillian poets. Cervantes conceived the idea for his most famous book “El ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha” whilst imprisoned in the Royal Prison of Seville, and the story of the well-known opera show “Carmen” was written and set in Seville by the French writer Prosper Mérimée. Where better to study these works than in the heart of the city in which they were set?

People say a picture is worth a thousand words, but some things must be seen for themselves. Come to Sevilla and discover the beauty of this magical city with SAIIE. Os estamos esperando.