By Ayoola Bode, Summer School in Spain (Sevilla)
For as long as I can remember, Spain has been the number one destination on my wish list. Maybe it has something to do with my obsession with Spanish music, culture and lifestyle, but when the opportunity came to apply for the summer school in Seville, it was an opportunity that I wasn’t going to let pass me by. What more could I ask for? It was the perfect chance to further develop my Spanish skills while being in a city that I could see myself being culturally immersed in.
I’d have to admit that I hadn’t really heard much about Seville until I saw the advertisement for the summer school. But if you’ve ever been to a popular European city destination, you’ll know what I mean when I say that in those cities, it never feels like you left the UK as you’re surrounded by a sea of English and American tourists with an Information shop at every corner. While Seville did have tourists, unlike other bigger European cities, the authenticity of its culture and heritage was undoubtedly present.
My 20 minute morning walk to the summer school CLIC, comprised of walking down Seville’s narrow streets, arrayed by colourful buildings and being greeted by the smiles of Sevillians. During my first day at CLIC, we had an induction and that same evening, the school gave us a tour of the city, while explaining details of Seville’s past and historic buildings. My Spanish teachers were very friendly and within a week of being at the school, the improvement in my Spanish was apparent. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a beginner as some of the Manchester students at CLIC who were beginners were already ordering food in Spanish by day 3!
Each school day was from 9am – 1pm which meant that we had the rest of the day to explore the city or take a quick siesta during the heat of the afternoon. Each week, the school organised cultural activities that we could take part in. My highlights with CLIC are: the trip to Cadiz, where we walked though one of the oldest neighbourhood in Spain, walked to the top of the Tavira Tower and faced the Atlantic Ocean; experiencing my first flamenco show in a traditional type parlour and making friends from across the globe.
Taking in the unbelievable view alongside Seville’s river quickly became my favourite thing to do, especially as it became a social hub in the evenings as friends and I enjoyed listening to good Spanish music in the midst of the city’s young people. We were literally there most evenings. Of course we enjoyed our fair share of paella, yummy Spanish ham and sangria in local restaurants, but if you’re brave enough, you can try snails for a really good price. We were also lucky to be in Seville when the city was celebrating one of its annual festivals – Corpus Cristi and we had the day off from CLIC so we experienced the full celebration.
There is honestly so much to do and see in Seville that you’ll feel like 4 weeks isn’t enough. I 100% recommend Sevilla and the summer school at CLIC!