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Sevilla Semester Direct Enroll Program

UNE students spend a semester in Sevilla studying pre-med and Spanish language and culture classes at the Universidad de Pablo de Olavide. They enjoy life outside of class with a variety of activities, clubs, volunteer opportunities and outings. The group visits the Alhambra in Granada and travels to Morocco to learn about the culture and connect with the UNE campus in Tangier.


Spanish Language and Culture in Sevilla

Austin Community College students spent four weeks studying Spanish language and culture in Sevilla in a course taught by ACC faculty. The students practiced their Spanish skills by participating in the active summer life in Sevilla visiting cultural institutions such as the CAAC and the Museo de Bellas Artes. On the weekends, the students enjoyed traveling to nearby the beaches and towns to experience Andalucía.



A picnic day at the María Luisa Park

picnic01 Some people say there’s nothing like Sevilla in the Spring. It’s the city’s most cherished season, when the scent of the orange blossom fills the streets and the warmth hasn’t yet reached stifling temperatures. picnic03 So, it is just the right time for sharing a good meal with our UNE friends, international students and some Spaniards. The picnic we had last Saturday was the first activity the mentors organized ourselves. Each group contributed with something, though I must say I totally surrendered to the charms of Cameron’s salad and Cristina’s group chocolate cake. Hats off to Maria’s pie as well! Tortillas, the beloved croquetas, chips, some cold gazpacho, chorizo and cheese, cold meats… There was plenty to choose from, and some of us ended pretty full, but it was totally worth it! Among so many mouth-watering stuff we had the chance to talk and catch up on each other’s lives. We also had some guests –French, German and Spanish students- with whom we had some laughs. It’s always good to meet new people! picnic02 Not everything was about the food, though. Some of the UNE students got to learn a typical schoolyard game: 1x2. Soccer was also present –of course it would, we are in Spain! All in all, I would say the atmosphere was perfect –sun for the warmth-craving foreigners and a gente breeze for us, the food was absolutely tasty and the setting was beautiful –the charming Parque de María Luisa, with its coaches passing by and the sound of the hooves on the background. It was a pity that most of our UNE friends had to leave earlier because of their midterms, but anyhow we spent a pleasant Saturday together, and I truly hope we get the chance to repeat the experience sometime!


No wonder it’s a World Heritage Site!

2 Defying the rain and the cold, we set off to Granada early on a grey Saturday morning. The sleepy faces son gave way to exclamations of amazement as we approached Granada and the sight of the snowy Sierra Nevada greeted us. Thanks to the great location of our hotel, we were able to check in and leave for a short stroll and lunch before leaving for the Alhambra. Granada is a splendid city, with its Moorish stlye and the inviting smell coming from the tea bars. After this short break we hurried to catch the bus that took us to the Alhambra. 1   Neither the chilly wind nor the rain could defeat us on our way through this haunting palace. Fortunately, we had a really great guide who made sure we didn’t miss a bit of the monument’s bountiful history. No wonder it’s a World Heritage Site! We were taken through a maze of sumptuous chambers and charming fountains, where we learned about its history and took plenty of pictures –big shout out here to our guide and photographer, Robert. However, all good things must come to an end, and so did our visit to the Alhambra. A short walk downhill, trying not to fall, as it really was a steep slope, and we were back in the city. We had some free time until dinner, so we took the chance to do some shopping –which included bargaining for scarves, purses, or Arabic handwritings. Some of us even got to experience holding a huge parrot on our shoulder! There was this Street packed with tea bars, and some of us chose to give them a go and treated ourselves with delicious Moorish-style teas at a cosy Alhambra-like bar. Granada is a city with a captivating atmosphere that leaves no one indifferent. Just like Sevilla, it’s filled with history, but it still keeps that romantic air that makes it different. Granada is full of life, specially of students, and, as I was telling some of the girls, it is the birthplace of many of Spain’s most famous music bands. It is also worth mentioning the succulent dinner we got to try. Pasta, seafood, all kinds of meat, special meals for our veggies… We could choose among plenty of mouth-watering dishes, thanks for choosing that restaurant, Rubén! On Sunday we enjoyed what was, in my opinion, the most beautiful part of the trip, and of Granada, actually. The final day began with a walk from the cathedral, passing by Paseo de los tristes on our way to the viewpoint, where we were delighted by a marvelous sight of the city spreading below. Oh, and also by a skinny dog wandering about. After some more shopping and another tasty lunch, we got ready for the journey back. It had been an intense stay in Granada, short but rather fruitful. Before coming back, some even had the strength to go hiking around the city! Some were asleep a minute after hopping on the bus, but their sleep was son interrupted by the wows as we got a final glimpse of Granada, with the white peaks of Sierra Nevada on the background. 4 All in all, I think Granada is a must see for anyone visiting or, actually, living in Spain. Sadly, the trip was for a weekend only, though I really hope the UNE students enjoyed it as much as I did!  


If you go to Granada once, you will definitely go back

P1040185 I wanted to start writing this the night before heading to Granada, but who was I kidding? The night before a trip you are excited and everything is chaotic, so definitely, it is not a good time to write. Doing this trip as an ESA Mentor means a lot to me because I am in love with this city and I wanted to share this feeling with the UNE students. As I had foretold, the trip was marvelous despite of the fact we only spent one night there. #1 Day: Saturday It was extremely early in the morning and the weather wasn’t cooperating with us. However, our first adventure together (ESA Sevilla coordinator Rubén, ESA mentors and UNE students) had already started. After a three hours bus ride, we arrived in Granada. So, as soon as we got our rooms at the hotel we were ready to walk around the city and have lunch. Some of us decided to go for tapas to recharge our batteries: when you order a drink in Granada, you are given a free tapa. We had to try it! Then, the Alhambra and Robert, our wonderful tour guide, were waiting for us. The Alhambra is a Moorish palace and fortress where different Muslim emirs lived until the Catholic Monarchs (Reyes Católicos) reconquered the city. Every single detail in its architecture and gardens amazed us and we felt as if we had traveled through time. P1040227   Next stop: a walk around narrow and steep streets, full of leather bags, beautiful and colorful lamps, handicrafts... We felt like we were in Morocco, even haggling worked sometimes. At each corner, we could discover so many different features… from surprises and beautiful scenes for artsy pictures, to graffiti covering old walls. It was getting darker and it was time for dinner. We all had a splendid one together, after which we still had energy to enjoy Granada’s nightlife. P1040322 #2 Day: Sunday A sunny Sunday ‘greeted us’ and invited us to enjoy our last hours in Granada. After breakfast, we went to the Paseo de los Tristes to admire the Alhambra from a different place. Then, it was time to be ready for hiking in order to arrive at Mirador de San Nicolás (Saint Nicholas viewpoint). Amazed by the spectacular view of the reddish Alhambra and the snowy mountains in the background, we stayed there a little while. Friendship started to be obvious in our group pictures. Finally, it was time to have lunch and say goodbye to this amazing and lovely city which fascinates people from any culture, country or age. But don’t worry, people from Granada have an expression: ‘if you go to Granada once, you will definitely go back’. So let’s believe this statement and we all will be back soon!


UNE Sevilla students visit the CAAC

10169208_10152941516134379_7392912737236712773_n CAAC is the acronym for Andalusian Contemporary Arts Center or Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo. The Center is located at the Monasterio de la Cartuja (the Carthusian Monastery) which was founded in the year 1400. CM Capture 1 When some monasteries were sold in mid-19th century, Charles Pickman, an English businessman, purchased the Cartuja and converted it into an internationally renowned pottery factory. When Seville was chosen to hold the Universal Exhibition of 1992, the Monastery was restored for use as a cultural center. Check out the website more more information about the center!


A chronicle of a Granada Trip

Waking for an early morning of long bus rides, us UNE students had no idea what was in store for our little adventure to Granada. After a two hour trip southeast of our home in Seville, I found myself in a beautiful city, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Quite a change from Seville, we stepped off the bus into a cloudy and damp atmosphere, a nice cool breeze rolling through the streets. The walk to our hotel was a brief, yet beautiful view; the buildings and streets of Granada were so different from those of Seville, a perfect mixture of modernity and antiquity. A quick stop at our hotel and we were off on one of those Rubenesque adventures (featuring long walks through beautiful scenery, uphill, through rain). Honestly, from the moment I stepped onto the street, I fell in love with this city. We walked through these old gothic-style gates, stepped over puddles and weaved through the umbrella salesmen to head to the main part of the city. Looking upwards, relief statues littered the buildings, marble and stone eyes following us as we traversed the streets. [caption id="attachment_743" align="alignnone" width="515"] Halie Pruitt[/caption] At one point during our walk we passed what we assumed was a statue, but instead was a beautiful street performing angel. Although living, this angel blended in with her surroundings so naturally that it was difficult to pick her out at first! [caption id="attachment_744" align="alignnone" width="343"]Halie Pruitt Halie Pruitt[/caption] Even during this “short” tour of the city, you could see the obvious connections to Morocco. Although the walls and buildings in the main part of the city were highly ornate buildings with Spanish influence, the small shops squished on either side of the walkways had Morocco spilling out of them. The tea and herb shops, the foreign dialect ringing in my ears, and, above all, HAREM PANTS. Obviously we saw the typical city sites-- Cute puppies and street musicians-- but the city was so different than what I had experienced previously. We could walk down a roadway and see crumbling antiquated buildings and bridges that have probably been there for hundreds of years, turn our heads and see new buildings and geometrically shaped street lights. But grabbing tapas and checking out the stores could not prepare me for the wonder that Granada held for us-- The Alhambra and Generalife [caption id="attachment_745" align="alignnone" width="515"]Halie Pruitt Halie Pruitt[/caption] Now, I’ll be real with y’all, I was so extremely exhausted that I wasn’t sure I could survive out at the Alhambra. This feeling didn’t change until we reached the top of the hill and saw cannons and palaces. Looking at the sheer magnitude of these buildings really put my mind in its place. We were standing on these grounds, looking across the empty lands and looking back on a small part of history. Before we entered, our tour guide told us how there had once been several buildings akin to the Alhambra that had been blown up-- these were the only ones that stood today because a one-armed man went around to diffuse the explosives. I got excited. We hadn’t seen the inside of the buildings yet, but if this man was willing to single handedly diffuse explosions and defy the regime, they must have been worth it…. they must be amazing. Words cannot describe the wonder found within the body of the Alhambra. I have visited monuments, I have seen exquisite architecture, and I am close friends with beauty. The transition from the exterior-- a very plain brick structure-- to the interior was astounding. The walls were laden with highly ornate floral designs, all in plaster with extreme attention to detail. The ceiling was crafted with ornate wooden panels, designs and geometric patterns etched, visions of the night sky overhead. With the arabic on the walls and the faded colors, I felt as though I had stepped into another world; the pale white of the plaster became laden with colors of days long since past and revealed its true beauty. Rather than listening to me fumble at an attempt to describe what I feel is one of the true wonders of the world, you should just book your plane ticket now and head out to Granada. [caption id="attachment_746" align="alignnone" width="515"]Halie Pruitt Halie Pruitt[/caption] As the sun slowly set on our first day in Granada, we began our hike to the Generalife. Meant to be a summer house for the Nasrid kings in Granada, the Generalife was surrounded by luscious gardens, gigantic hedges, and lengthy pools. Reaching the top of the hill where the actual summer house was located, we were followed by the fragrance of summer roses and honey suckle. Once we entered the building, it seemed as though the sun had stuck around long enough to grace us with the perfect warm array of yellows and oranges. Too comforting, in fact, because at this point our little group was ready to fall asleep on the closest hedge or friendly looking rose bush. And so our little tour ended here and we walked down from the mountain back into town. Dinner with Ruben is always a spectacle. Returning from the Alhambra, we had a short time to get ready and head out. Leaving the hotel, we heard music and cheering. A festival? Upon further examination, we had walked into a crowd of seniors dancing classically in a square close to our restaurant. It was an omen of a great night for us UNE students. Dinner consisted of 2 fantastic plates and dessert. Dessert obviously caused the largest debate among our group, but we eventually were able to order and complete our meal. Tuckered out from a fabulous day featuring amazing food, sights, and conversation, this girl was ready for bed! Opening my windows the next morning provided me with a pleasant surprise. Jackie and I had been given a room on the 4th floor with a spectacular view of the city. Not awake long enough to enjoy this sight, we were whisked off on another one of Ruben’s adventures! Here is a note of warning, if you ever see Ruben with this face, be prepared for a hike. [caption id="attachment_747" align="alignnone" width="515"]Halie Pruitt Halie Pruitt[/caption] So, we began our uphill adventure. With slopes steeper than your average mountain (or so it seemed) we traversed the streets of Granada to get the perfect view of the city. On our way, we spotted unique graffiti and people who were not dying from the incline. [caption id="attachment_748" align="alignnone" width="515"]Halie Pruitt Halie Pruitt[/caption] However, once we reached the top, we understood why Ruben had brought us here. Guitar players surrounded the plaza that had a perfect overlook to the Alhambra. The sun of this early day lit up the hazy sky and left all content to take pictures and pet adorable puppies. We were released from Ruben’s custody (JK <3) and split up to shop and eat on our own accord. I enjoyed an afternoon of shopping for scarves and pizza with Amelia until heavy rain forced us back to the hotel. Making the best of an unfortunate situation, we settled down at the hotel lobby and watched movies. Soon the rest of our group returned, bustled in by the wind and rain as well. Thus came an end to our Granada experience. Visiting Granada has been one of my favourite experiences throughout my life, and makes me even more excited to visit Morocco and our fellow UNE students! I really enjoyed spending quality time with these guys, and can’t wait to have more adventures!