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3 posts from July 2015



Sevilla FC

This post is by Crystal Lewin, a Psychology Major student from Williams College. During the Spring 2015 semester she was participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

My experience in Sevilla has to be one of the greatest ones I’ve ever had. My life revolves around the beautiful game, otherwise known as soccer or fútbol. Back in the US, I play Division III soccer for one of the best teams in the nation: Williams College. So the second I arrived in Sevilla to begin my semester abroad, I started searching for competitive teams to play for; to keep up my fitness and level of play. In the beginning I had very little luck, but boy did that change.

Everyone should know that in Sevilla, there are two major teams (men’s and women’s) that give rise to an immense rivalry: Sevilla FC and Real Betis Balompié. Well one day I found out something important about my Anthropology of Sports professor at CIEE, José Viñas -- Get to know him. He’s freaking awesome -- except for the fact that he’s a Betis guy.] He has connections to one of these teams: the Division I (“La Superliga”) professional women’s soccer team, Sevilla FC. I was feeling ballsy after class one day, so I asked if he wouldn’t mind helping me get a tryout -- cuz why not? I had gotten super lucky before with getting a tryout with the Mexican Women's National Team (a story for another day) so I thought -- hey, what do I have to lose? I quickly whipped up a soccer resume, and some film I had on hand. Sure enough, I ended up getting pretty lucky! The club director asked me to come out for a week of training, which would essentially serve as a tryout week for me.

The Sevilla soccer gods decided that I didn’t have to wait a week, though. Fortunately, on the second day, I got asked to join the team (“hacer ficha”). So after decoding the complicated NCAA rules, and after getting the okay from my coach back home, Sevilla FC was finally free to send my paperwork to FIFA for processing.

I have access to all the facilities now and have my own personalized ankle injury prevention program at the club’s gym. (I have the right ankle of a two-year-old’s, so strength training is mandatory). I’ve also become friends with practically all of the trainers, since every single one has had the awesome privilege of taping my ankle. As of now I am still waiting for my paperwork to go through, but until then I will be training and supporting my new team -- and hopefully you will see me on the Sevilla Femenino roster real soon! Entrance to games is free so come out to “La Ciudad Deportiva” and support if you are interested in watching some kickass soccer! Sevilla nunca se rinde (Sevilla never gives up)!!!

Crystal Lewin (Ronaldo)




Greetings from Sevilla!

The first summer session has come to an end. Everything went very smoothly, and the students were really able to get to know the city during the orientation with their local student guides and CIEE staff. The weather during the session was warm, and pleasant.

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Students were able to get to know some interesting places around the city of Seville through many activities organized by student services, such as visiting the Alcazar palace and gardens, a few of the city’s convents, and the Casa de Pilatos, home to some of Andalusia´s nobility. Students also participated in some fun cooking classes, where they learned to prepare some typical Spanish dishes.

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Outside of Seville, they got to spend a day in Córdoba, visiting its Jewish quarter and world-renown mosque and enjoying their time on its narrow streets full of traditional tapas bars. Other students visited the white mountain town of Aracena. In Aracena, they hiked up to the castle and explored some caves. 

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On the overnight trip, students visited Cádiz, Jerez, and Bolonia. Students spent the day touring the ancient port city of Cádiz – its cathedral, markets, historic center- and then had some free time to try the fresh seafood and relax on the beach. At night, they enjoyed a tour of the city of Jerez, seeing a procession and the preparation of the city for its Corpus Christi celebration. The following day, we travelled to the coast to visit Bolonia beach, where the Baelo Claudia Roman ruins are located. Students toured the complex and then had free time at the beach.

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For their intercultural trip, students visited Lisbon and Barcelona. Each group really enjoyed getting to know another city and came back with a new perspective. Many wanted to go back to those cities and spend even more time getting to know them.

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Throughout the session, CIEE students interacted with local students and had the chance to practice their language skills during weekly activities organized by the ‘Language Support’ team. They did some fun activities such as picnics on the river, visiting the cinema, swimming pool, etc...

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Eating in Spain

This post is by Melissa Bond, a Linguistics Major student from Indiana University. During the Spring 2015 semester she was participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

Some eat to live, and some live to eat. I can happily say that living in my host mom, Toñi’s house this semester, I’m not only getting properly nourished, but mealtimes are what I often live for (especially coming from eating dorm food for the past few years).

To orient the foreigners, eating here is in general very different.  We eat breakfast whenever we wake up, which for me is usually yogurt and fruit (this is one mealtime where I stray away from the traditional Spanish way, which is toast, olive oil, and other various spreads).  Then, we don’t eat lunch until 2:30 p.m., which is with dinner finally coming at 9:30.  Snacking isn’t really a thing in between meals, either. This is obviously different from the American timetable, but what I had to get most used to was actually having a schedule. In the states, I usually just eat whenever I’m hungry, and I snack a lot.  Even with my American family, we hardly sit down and eat dinner together at a specific time, let alone lunch! I’ve actually really gotten to like this schedule, though, as eating later makes the day seem longer.

Even if I did have a problem with the eating schedule, I can assure you my host mom’s cooking would have more than made up for it.  Not only is everything we eat fresh (usually bought from a market hours before), delicious (obviously), but it’s also just so creatively put together.  She makes us two meals a day - I’ve already been here two months (cringe), and I don’t think she has repeated a meal one time. 

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Here is a typical lunch plate. A chicken fillet cooked in olive oil, with a light sauce of olive oil, white wine, lemon, and garlic, potatoes that have been freshly cut and fried in another generous bath of olive oil, and an over-easy egg (she puts fried eggs on top of a lot of things) fried in – you guessed it – a vat of olive oil. Aceite is the delicious life-blood of the Sevillanos, and it shows in each dish. Also featuring bread, which is served with all meals.

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All lunches are also accompanied by one of Toñi’s ensaladas, which can range from just lettuce, tomato, olive oil, and salt, to beets and tuna.  Often they include some type of cheese and chopped fruit, too.  What’s fun about the salad is here in Spain, the salad plate is placed in the middle of the table and we all just pick off it throughout the meal! The one pictured features one of my favorite mix-ins: avocado and shredded carrots.

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Dessert is usually a fruit (read: orange. I’m surprised I haven’t turned into one yet!) or yogurt, but I think Toñi has caught on to my roommate’s and my sweet tooth, so we’ve been getting some other varieties, like rice pudding, flan, and lots of chocolate.  Here, more “fried eggs” are featured, but they’re actually peach halves with whipped cream.

Long story short, I’m extremely spoiled here in Casa de Toñi and I’m already dreading leaving in a few months. Luckily I will have a big, fat cookbook to remember not only the food, but also the fun times I have had getting to know my Spanish señora over mealtimes together.