Being Erasmus in Seville: flamenco, a 250 euros bed and Carboneria
How's to be an Erasmus in Sevilla? Gabriela Azevedo (first from the right in this photo taken in La Carboneria), from Seville cafebabel.com, will tell you all that you must know before coming in Andalusian capital for a student exchange program.
Finding a place to stay in Seville
There are several information sources. One is the journal called “Cambalache”, the most popular one among the students who are looking for an apartment to live. Another is the “SACU” (SERVICIO DE ASISTENCIA A LA COMUNIDAD UNIVERSITARIA - Pabellón de Uruguay, Avenida de Chile), a University of Seville service that helps students with all kind of issues. Another good option is looking around the walls in the campi of the university, there are always a lot of papers hanging on them asking for people to share apartments. The universities also offer the official universitary residences for those who want more commodities. It is true that they are also much more expensive than an apartment, but they worth it. In the SACU webpage it’s possible to see all the available residences. For sharing apartments the prices goes around 250 euros (in the city centre this price is to share a room with other person, but outside the midtown you can have an entire room for this same price). The best regions to live are the Centre (El Arenal, Alameda de Hércules, Plaza de Duque, Alfafa, Menéndez Pelayo), Nervión, Los Remedios, Triana and Macarena (close do the Hospital).
University in Seville: speak Spanish (or sevillano), please
There are not courses in English (well, if you study English Philology of course you have). The courses are all in Spanish (well, most of them in “sevillano” hehe) and the universities offer free Spanish courses to every foreigner student who doesn’t have Spanish as mother tongue. To do the course you have to go to the “Rectorado” (Calle San Fernando) on International Relations section. They give you a paper that you have to fill up and give in the Institute of Idioms (in Avenida Reína Mercedez) to do the enrollment in the Spanish Course. After that, you take a level test and then it’s up to you to just enjoy your studies. The only thing you pay is the material (books and an exercise notebook). About the universitary atmosphere, it depends on what you study. As I study Journalism, people are more open and also communicative. They were not as open as I thought though; at the beginning it was a little bit difficult to interactive with them. After you get to know some people, things become easier and your experience becomes much better. In some courses the foreigner students are always together and they don’t usually hang around with Spanish people. As I said, it depends on what you study and how open and talk-active you are. The tip is find people who are more interesting in others cultures, in learning new languages, in experiencing new things. You can easily recognize them because these people surely will talk to you.
Going out in Seville: don't miss la Carboneria
Well, nobody can leave Seville without going to “La Carboneria”. It’s a touristic place, but it’s free! You can watch a lot of Flamenco and music shows without paying anything. Plus, this place is perfect to know people (specially ERASMUS and other students from overseas). It’s in Barrio Santa Cruz, in the city centre (right in the photo). Very easy to find and everybody knows it. Another very nice place to know is “Sala OBBIO” (it’s in Calle Trastamana, in front of Plaza de Armas Center). It’s a pub, disco and cinema a little bit alternative. You don’t pay anything to watch the movies (the cinema sessions run from Monday to Wednesday and each day of the week it’s a different kind of movies. They change the themes every month. Plus, the movies are always in original language with subtitles in Spanish. Great to learn Spanish!!!) and you know a lot of nice people. From Thursday to Saturday it’s a pub and disco and the drinks are very cheap (from 2 to 4 euros). The third place is the Guadalquivír River. During the Spring and the Summer is a really enjoyable place to walk, have some beer, ice cream, to hang out with your dog, with your partner, to sit in front of the river and have a sunbath. This place is recommendable to people who enjoy the simple things of life, as a hot and sunny day on Seville. This place is also good to do exercises, there are always people running, walking and skating around. Following this same kind of place, all the parks in Seville are amazing, specially the “Parque María Luísa”.
Partying in Seville: Caramelo y Calle Betis
The most famous place to party with other Erasmus is the disco called “Caramelo”. They do a special party every Wednesday (like “Mexican party”, “Italian party”, “German party” and so on…) when a lot of Erasmus goes to know other cultures and meet people from all over the world. Other great option to party is “Calle Betis” where you can find a lot of bars, pubs and discos, one beside the other. You have just to cross “el Puente de Los Remedios” or “el Puente de Triana” and you’re already there. Advice: don’t hang around in this street lonely or in two. It’s always better being in a group at night! As “Calle Betis”, “Alameda de Hércules” has got a wonderful atmosphere. It’s a street with a lot of cafés, pubs and discos can’t miss it! Spanish people use to party in a lot of places in the same night. They go from bar to bar to take some “tapas”, then they drink a little bit more in the streets and then they go to a disco. This is nice because you know a lot of places and always meet a lot of different people. Other discos well known by the students are Orange, Aduana, Boss, Sidharta, GOA/Babilonia (my favorite!), Funkclub and Elefunk.
My verdict: Seville is neither too big or too small.
I do recommend Seville to other people to have an experience here. It’s perfect because Seville is not too big (you can meet your friends, hang around, get to the places very easily and fast) nor too small (there are a lot of things to do here and places to visit. In Seville it’s impossible to get bored specially because of this university atmosphere, there’s always something going on!). Plus, Seville is close to very nice beaches and also to the mountains. You can have a sunbath and also go skiing very easily. If you’re not coming to Seville to live, you have to visit at least for a week. I’m sure you won’t regret!!!
... and if you wanna join cafebabel.com in Seville, just email firstname.lastname@example.org !