Chelsea LeFave - 2014 Program Participant
Watching the World Cup under La Setas in Sevilla with thousands of people!
Why did you decide to apply for an international program?
I decided to apply for an international program for so many reasons. I have always had the travel bug and the desire to see everything the world has to offer. After learning a lot about doing business in other countries, from my minor in International Business, I knew that studying abroad was something I had to do. I never imagined however that I would learn so much about myself.
What attracted you to ISA’s program in Sevilla, Spain?
I chose to study abroad to Sevilla, Spain with ISA mostly because of all of the good things I had heard about the program from friends who previously went on it and one of my marketing teachers who was taking students to Sevilla for the second time. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Spain and how thankful I am that I chose that program!
What was your favorite part about Sevilla?
My favorite part of Sevilla was the small town feel in a big city. It was easy to find your way through the city, however, there were always new streets and alleyways to explore lined with tapas restaurants and shops. Sevilla is also a huge bike community, so if somewhere was too far to walk you could easily rent a bike and explore that way. There was a beautiful river that ran through the city that illuminated the city at night. It’s somewhere special that I’m always going to hold in my heart.
Baguette fighting in Paris... one of my favorite memories!
What makes ISA’s Sevilla program unique?
The Sevilla program that I participated in was unique because it was created for business majors at Georgia College. One of our marketing teachers came with us to teach two classes, Marketing in Spain and Global Marketing, and ISA helped in every way to customize it to us. Even though everyone on my program went to the same school we still got to meet students from all over the world because of activities that ISA planned for us.
In what ways did the local ISA staff help you throughout your program?
ISA helped us the whole way from right when we landed in Madrid, until right when we got back on the plane to the United States. As soon as we arrived in Madrid, ISA staff set up an information session to address all questions and needs that we would need during our stay. They helped set us up with international phones to call home or connect with other people. They also provided a list of numbers to call in case of any emergency, and gave us a health card to use if anything was to happen. The staff then brought us to our different apartments and gave us all maps to help navigate through the city. They were so helpful when it came to shopping; planning local activities for us to engage in, and fully letting us experience everything that Spain had to offer.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
If there was one thing I wish I would have done differently it would have been to try and learn more of the language! I had always grown up learning French, so going to Spain was definitely out of my comfort zone. Before leaving I tried to learn some of the basic words, but I wish I would have taken the time to learn more to be able to communicate better with the locals!
What was a typical day like for you in Spain?
Each day was different in Sevilla and that’s what I loved about our program! Some days we would go to the ISA school location and work on our weekly blog and marketing plan. Other days however, the ISA staff would take us on business visits to places like Coca-Cola and an oil manufacturer. The best part about Sevilla came around three in the afternoon when almost all of the restaurants and local shops would close down for siesta, meaning nap time. Everyone loved this time so we could take a little break from the heat and relax for a couple of hours!
After siesta everyone would gather back together and meet up for dinner at one of our favorite places to eat, 100 Montaditos, where there were over 100 different sandwiches to choose from! After dinner we would spend time at the river, shopping, or going to one of the many flamenco shows. The free time you get outside of the classroom is the best because it is the time for you to explore the city on your own and really get the most out of your experience.
Our group got the weekends off to travel and so we all looked forward to seeing more of what Spain and the rest of Europe had to offer. I got the incredible opportunity to go to Paris, Portugal, and Barcelona!
View from my apartment rooftop in Sevilla!
What was your favorite activity outside of your coursework?
It’s hard to choose just one of my favorite activities, but it would have to have been going kayaking on the Sevilla River into the sunset or getting to experience a live bull fight! Even though I didn’t necessarily enjoy watching the bull fight, I loved getting to truly embrace the Sevillian culture by participating in one of their cultural experiences. It was so cool to be in the stadium surrounded by local people cheering on their favorite matador!
What type of accommodation did you have in Sevilla?
The group on our trip all stayed in apartments located throughout Sevilla. The apartment was located about a 20 to 30 minute walk to ISA headquarters and about 20 minutes from other apartments. I stayed in an apartment that was fully furnished with two other girls. I shared a room with one other girl, and the other person had her own room. The apartment came with a microwave, oven, refrigerator, and washing machine.
What did you like about your housing arrangement?
My favorite part about our apartment was the rooftop where you could see the whole city!
How much has studying abroad changed your life?
Studying abroad has completely changed my life and impacted my every day at Georgia College, from things I learn in the classroom to interviewing for jobs in the real world. I never imagined I would have taken so many things from Spain and brought it back to Georgia. I learned so much from my study abroad experience that I became a study abroad ambassador for my school to help other students find programs around the world that is the perfect fit for them!
Our study abroad group in Madrid