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CIEE Seville Summer Language and Culture Program
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Amanda Yarson

Major: International Politics, Spanish
Minor: Business in the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Yardley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I spoke with my advisor and the Education Abroad office before and after applying to my programs. I completed a search on the Penn State's Global Program's website to find my specific program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I studied abroad in Seville, Spain for 4 weeks this past summer. I stayed in a homestay with my hostmom, Rosa, and her dog. I absolutely loved the homestay experience. I was able to eat a lot of authentic food and have practice speaking Spanish every day. This definitely helped to enhance my immersion experience and I recommend this option to anyone who studies abroad. Almost all of the other students chose this option as well. While I was there, I attended class 5 days a week. We did tours and field trips multiple days a week and I met so many people. I traveled every weekend and tried to get as much out of my program as possible. This program specifically was very inclusive and included free tours, a cooking class and 2 weekend trips.

This experience not only taught me about the culture of flamenco and the geographical area where I was studying but it also helped to strengthen my Spanish language skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I took one 3-credit class while I was abroad, Flamenco History and Culture. This experience not only taught me about the culture of flamenco and the geographical area where I was studying but it also helped to strengthen my Spanish language skills. I learned a lot about Flamenco dancing from the culture and history to an interactive dance lesson. We also attended a Flamenco show in the area for the experience of how this specific piece of culture affects the people of Seville. This also helped my understanding of the culture specific to the area. It helped me to understand the people and what is important to them and why.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals and plans working for an international company. I ultimately want to use my Spanish language skills in whatever career in which I end up. This experience not only helped to strengthen my Spanish speaking and comprehension, but it also helped me to be more confident in my Spanish language abilities.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. This is a once in a lifetime experience that most people might not get the chance to do outside of school. You can always go on vacation, but this experience is truly so much more. You are constantly learning something new or seeing something that you would never see. You do not just create memories, you create an unforgettable experience. You meet new people and form lasting relationships from people all over the world.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program played a huge role on my experience and I might not have had this experience if it were not for the 6-week study abroad requirement. The Paterno Fellows Program also made this and other opportunities available to me by advertising study abroad through Penn State and also providing information about funding.


For more information on study abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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