July 25, 2020

ESA Virtual Programs

We are aware that traveling abroad is not easy right now, but intercultural learning is still possible and ESA is here to partner with you as always in this endeavor!

We are thrilled to announce that we have designed and prepared six exclusive customizable virtual programs in different European locations: Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, London, Paris, and Scotland. ESA virtual programs offer an opportunity of immersion to the receiving culture in conjunction with their academic coursework. All programs include:

  • On-line orientations
  • Seminar on host culture
  • Guest lectures by local faculty
  • Guided tours of monuments, museums, and sites
  • Cultural exchange sessions with local students
  • ESA exclusive Global Competency Workshop
  • Cooking workshop of local cuisine and farewell event

Furthermore, all ESA programs are customizable, and can be adapted in terms of length, content, and inclusions. Some of the extra components we can add to your program are:

  • Firm visits
  • Local faculty
  • Customized guided visits
  • Customization of lectures and activities to your field
  • Multi-location
  • Additional workshops and on-site experiences
  • Addition of an in person on-site component

These virtual programs can be a perfect alternative in the event of not being able to travel, but also a great and affordable opportunity to complement courses taught at your home university.

If you are interested in learning more about our virtual customized programs, please contact us at info@servicesabroad.com or via our webform. We look forward to hearing from you.

May 18, 2020

ESA Initiatives

At Educational Services Abroad, our goal is to make our programs respectful to our planet and accessible to everyone. For this reason, we have developed sustainability and diversity  initiatives to be implemented in our forthcoming programs in 2021.

On the green side, ESA goes carbon neutral traveling! We love to travel, but we are also very conscious of the impact that traveling has on our environment and we want to do our part to lessen that impact. We commit with our clients to offset 95% of our programs’ ground transfers and flight carbon emissions, in partnership with the initiative CarbonFund

But, why only 95%? Well, the other 5% will be covered by our program participants. We are all in this together and want to encourage our students and group leaders to join us on to help protect our planet. We will provide:

  • Pre-departure guidance for a greener trip 
  • On-site orientation on local sustainability systems and practices in your host destination (recycling, environmental challenges, or local rules)
  • Guidance on how to make your program more sustainable.
  • Actions participants shall take to decrease their impact to cover that 5% (or more!) of their emissions. 

Join us in this initiative for a greener planet, we can’t do it without you!

And last, but not least, at ESA we are committed to diversity and inclusion in our programs. Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity, and we believe that everyone should be able to experience it. In order to actively contribute to that mission, we have created two diversity scholarships for students enrolled in ESA programs. Please, check all the information and don’t hesitate to apply!

April 15, 2020

ESA Safety Statement

Our thoughts are with all of those who have seen their lives affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We are deeply sorry our 2020 Spring and Summer program students have had their study abroad experience interrupted or cancelled due to this crisis.

At ESA we are monitoring the situation through official sources and working to be ready to offer the best experiences in Europe to our program participants under the safest conditions. We hope to be able to welcome new students very soon and safety is our top priority. Because of that, we have created a protocol of social distancing measures to be applied to our programs, in order to better protect the health of our participants and their program leaders. We will be sharing these protocols with you in our program proposals and direct communications. Please email us at: lynn@servicesabroad.com for more information or for any questions you may have.

We are positive we will soon be back to normal but, meanwhile, we want to guarantee that our upcoming programs run safely and smoothly. During the following months, we will keep monitoring the situation and we cannot wait to see new students coming to Europe to enjoy the best experience of their lives with us.

We cannot emphasize enough how important students and faculty members are for us, and how this situation has impacted our mission and projects. However, as said, their safety is our priority, and we want to send them our best wishes, and thank our partner institutions and students for your patience, responsibility, and support!

 

January 30, 2019

Less Netflix, more movie theater

Today I’ve decided to talk to you about movie theaters in Sevilla. You may be wondering why I chose this topic. Well, I think that nearly the 95% of people in the USA and Spain spend their free time watching movies or series on Netflix (at least, that’s my favorite hobby). However, you need to connect with the Spanish culture, so pack your stuff and let’s go to watch a movie at the movie theater! I’m going to resume you the best ones in Seville:

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Cinesur Nervión Plaza - Calle Luis de Morales, 3, 41005, Sevilla

I think it’s the best option for you because it is next to the metro stop “Nervión”. The movie theater is located on the third floor of the mall called Nervión Plaza. At this movie theater, you can sometimes find original version movies with subtitles in Spanish.

Multicine Los Arcos - Avenida de Andalucía, sin número, 41007, Sevilla.

The second biggest movie theater in Seville. The quickest and easiest way to go there is by bus (buses number 02, 24 and 29). Maybe I prefer Cinesur Nervión Plaza because of the transportation, but here you can find the same movies as the first one.

Besides watching a movie, these two movie theaters are located at the top of two malls: Centro Comercial Nervión Plaza and Centro Comercial Los Arcos. So you can go shopping, then go to watch a movie and end having dinner at a restaurant of the mall.

Cinesa Plaza de Armas - Plaza La Legión, 8, 41001, Sevilla.

A really good option because of its location. It’s the second closest one to the city center. A negative point is that it has a small number of theaters, so the places are more limited.

Alameda Multicines - Calle Alameda de Hércules, 9, 41002, Sevilla.

Actually, this one is in the city center. However, this movie theater is special because it’s one of the oldest one and it is not as busy as the other ones, but you can find very interesting movies. In addition, it’s surrounded by multiple restaurants and pubs where you can have a drink or have dinner before or after the movie.

All of these movie theaters are perfect for you because of their location and the huge variety of movies. Sometimes you can watch original version movies with subtitles in Spanish but you have to try to watch a movie without any help - that’s how you are going to learn! And you can have a good time with one of your friends eating popcorn and drinking a soft drink.

The link below is a site with all the movie theaters located in Sevilla and surrounding towns. If you click on the name of one of them, you will find the movies that are being screened and when they’re scheduled.

https://www.ecartelera.com/cines/0,43,0.html

See you soon, guys!

December 12, 2018

Music to learn Spanish

One of the best ways to learn a language is listening to music. There are countless artists who sing in Spanish and they are not only from Spain but from North and Latin America as well. This article will be focused on the remarkable genres by Spanish singers. We could be talking about all the genres in music forever: there are a lot, everyone knows that. Besides, nowadays people have personal styles and they have access to all the music in wide and multiple platforms.

Rock has marked a before and an after in the Spanish music, especially in the last century. Names like Miguel Ríos, Rosendo, Loquillo, Leño, Barón Rojo, Obús, Héroes del Silencio or Extremoduro would not exist without the American rock, the main reference in this genre. Rock is power, rebellion, transgression, vibrancy and will to live and dance. Feeling like a bomb is feeling rock and roll. At first, this genre was censured, the artists had to be careful with the lyrics and replacing one word with another was common. All this was because there was a dictatorship in Spain which controlled the media and there was no freedom of speech. Rock had a bad reputation and it was said it provoked bad behaviour on its listeners. The aesthetic with leather jackets and long hairs in boys bothered the Spanish system. However, in the late 60s, things became easier for singers and freedom of speech arrived little by little. Nowadays we can enjoy world-known rock festivals in the country such as Leyendas del Rock or Viña Rock.

Pop is a trendy genre in Spain, as trendy as in the rest of the world. It suffered from censorship, like rock: they both came up at the same time. There are bands from this century which have been listened to ad nauseam (over and over again). Very good examples are Funambulista, Leiva, Vetusta Morla, Maldita Nerea, La Oreja de Van Gogh, La Quinta Estación or El Sueño de Morfeo. Those who are Spanish millennials will know what I am talking about…

There are new artists who are emerging too and they will be able to conquist the music industry. It is essential mentioning Operación Triunfo (OT), a reality show in a singing academy whose main target is to develop the musical careers from the competitors. The professors in the academy teach them how to dance, how to express themselves when they are in an interview and another skills an artist needs. Aitana, the second winner of OT2017, a 19 year-old-girl, has just released her first solo album. It is called ‘Tráiler’ and some songs are in English. However she already has got a single (Teléfono). The same single has got a remix with Lele Pons, the Venezuelan celebrity from the Internet.

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Noteworthy, the greatest exponents of Spanish pop at present are Vanesa Martín, Melendi, Alejandro Sanz, Pablo López, Rozalén, Malú, Pablo Alborán, El Kanka, Dani Martín, Andrés Suárez, Manuel Carrasco, among others.

We could spend the whole life analysing music. We are aware of all the genres and the most popular bands we have not mentioned, like trap (Pimp Flaco), dubstep (Space Elephants), electronic (Edu Imbernon), ska (Ska-P), punk (Gatillazo, Eskorbuto), jazz (Carme Canela)... Here there are just a few recommendations of Spanish bands if you like, like me, enjoy indie music: Los Planetas, IZAL, Love of Lesbian, La Casa Azul, Miss Cafeina, Vetusta Morla, Carlos Sadness, Supersubmarina or Carolina Durante. In case you want to give a try to the Spanish rap, which I really love, here you have some really good options: Nach, Rayden, Kase.O., Ayax y Prox, El Chojin, Kaze or SFDK.

Just remember, music has no limits. You will always be free to discover new music, new sensations.

October 31, 2018

Spanish TV series on Netflix.

You have probably heard about learning a language by watching movies or TV series more than once. It is true that you can improve your skills: you will learn about the culture of a foreign country if the TV show is set in the past, if it is a fiction TV series, you will get hooked and you will definitely be engrossed in it if it is a fantasy TV program. There are many Spanish TV series in digital platforms, such as Netflix, to choose. These following TV series are the ones I like the most.

The first Spanish TV show is Las chicas del cable (“Cable Girls”). It tells the story of four girls in the 1920s in Madrid who fall in love and they become close friends over time. However, they also witness the changes women live in the work environment and also when an upper-class woman was not supposed to work. Besides, girl power is throughout the TV show, they become stronger, more confident and there is a sisterhood among them. Moreover, the characters are very complex and the roles are played by great actresses. These are the most influential facts of the TV show. The main character is called Julia Aguilar although her real name in the TV show is Alba Romero. She is being blackmailed by a police inspector who wants her to steal money from the national telecommunications company. She goes undercover in there and, by chance, the love of her life is one of the most important executive positions of the company. I addition to this, she gets to know some girls, each one more different from the next one, and they become her friends. It is noteworthy that the third season has just been released.

Las Chicas del Cable

Las Chicas del Cable

Similarly, there is another TV show which also discusses female topics and it is called “Vis a Vis” (with the same title in the United States and as “Locked Up” in the United Kingdom). It focuses on Macarena García, a young woman who was in love with her boss who was accused of economic malfeasance and tax evasion and sent to a women’s prison. At first, she is innocent, naïve and scared but finally Macarena learns how to adapt to her new situation. The atmosphere in the prison is not easy, but cruel and violent in an entertaining way. The story is told in four seasons.

Vis a Vis

Vis a Vis

Last but not least, we can find on Netflix La casa de papel (“Money Heist”). This time, the eight robbers who star in the TV show are not all women. Nevertheless, there are two girls in the band, one of them is very intelligent and the other very feisty: Nairobi and Tokio, respectively. The band plans a theft in the Royal Spanish Mint with the help of the Professor, the head of the band who is outside with the thought leadership. They want to steal money from no one, this is why they take hostages, among them the British ambassador’s daughter, and start to print out the Euro notes. There are two seasons of the TV serie but the third season will be released in 2019. You can’t afford to miss it!!

Las Casa de Papel

Las Casa de Papel

September 25, 2018

Through other eyes: places to study.

You are in a new beginning of your lives. New country, new city, and even the people are different. As a Spaniard, I can say that we are often known by our parties and traditions, the heat and our outgoing behaviour. But we have our nice and quiet places too: places where you can study in a peaceful way.

To make a good use of this experience, I feel like you should discover those places. I will give you some suggestions for those studying in Sevilla or those who are planning or visiting the city. Here we have public libraries all around the city where you can rent all types of books and movies. Also, they have a space for studying, free Wi-Fi, and one of the most important facts: air conditioner and central heating.

Some of those libraries are Biblioteca Pública Municipal Alberto Lista or Biblioteca Pública Municipal Julia Uceda. Personally, my favourite option is Biblioteca Pública Infanta Elena. A lot of interesting conferences are held there, it is very bright because of its large windows and it has got two floors. Definitively, it is comfortable and silent. The address is C/Av. de María Luisa, 8, 41013 Sevilla. You can check the opening times in the official website, but in winter it opens on Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and it is closed on Sundays.

Besides those, we have other options. As you may know there are two public universities in Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla and Universidad Pablo de Olavide. The first one has got a lot of libraries such as Biblioteca de Humanidades. If you click on this link you will be able to access to all of them https://bib.us.es/bibliotecas_y_horarios; the photos below are from the Humanidades library, but do not deceive yourself! It has got a lot of rooms and all different from the others. It is not necessary to be a student from this university to study there, do not worry! This one is in the centre of Sevilla, next to Puerta Jerez. The accurate address is https://goo.gl/maps/4gKrqKSg2tq.


imagen2

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The second public library is from the UPO: Universidad Pablo de Olavide, I bet you have heard about it before. The advantage is that it is on campus, which is surrounded by nature, and probably some birds will be flying around: the windows are always opened to get fresh air. In case you are a student from this university, you can book study rooms, which are in the second floor, to do some group work if you are an UPO student at that moment. But if you just want to study there, you do not have to be a member: the entrance is free. The coolest thing is that you can take a break and lie down on the grass, which is all around outside the library, or you can also go to the snackbar “Santa Clara”, which is a few metres from there.

imagen4

Let’s admit it, these are just a few of the endless possibilities you have in Sevilla for studying. I hope you all have the feeling of discovering new options by yourself after reading this!

Until the next post!

April 30, 2018

Tortilla de Patatas Recipe

Hi guys! I hope you’re all doing great. I decided this time to write about gastronomy, and what better than posting the recipe of the Spanish Tortilla de Patatas? For the ones who don’t know, tortilla in Spain means omelette, so it has nothing to do with the tortilla chips. And now that we are about to start counting the steps of the recipe, it’s time for the Spanish debate: to decide whether we are going to include the onion (cebolla in Spanish) or not. You may think this is unnecessary, but this has actually led to wars and end of friendships (OK, maybe not that much) but it is actually a thing the Spanish people talk about. If you think this is only me who thinks that, please check this post (in Spanish)

https://elcomidista.elpais.com/elcomidista/2015/11/04/articulo/1446675453_825793.htm

In this article, written in Spanish, the most famous Spanish chefs take sides in this battle, and divide themselves between sincebollistas (“if it has onion it’s not a potato tortilla, it’d be a onion tortilla) and concebollistas (“you need to add the onion, otherwise it’s tasteless and I’ll be missing something). ANYWAY, I’m pro-onion so we’ll be using it today.

Regarding ingredients for 4 servings, you’ll be needing:

  • 5 or 6 eggs
  • Salt
  • 4 big potatoes
  • 3 onions
  • Olive oil
  • A splash of milk (optional)

 

First, we’re going to peel the potatoes and dice them along with the onions. You can always use more potatoes, but that also means that you’ll need more eggs and onions. Once we’ve diced both, we’re gonna put olive oil in a pan and when it gets hot, we’ll add the onion first and when it turns golden, we’ll add the potatoes. You can cover it so it fries faster (using the steam) and cook them until they get a little darker. Once you get golden-ish, take them out leaving the oil in the pan. We are going to save this oil to fry potatoes and onions other times.

In a bowl, we’re going to beat the eggs with some salt and the optional splash of milk, and add the fried onions and potatoes afterwards. We’re gonna use the frying pan again but with very little olive oil this time, and we are going to let it cook for a couple minutes, or two minutes and a half.

NOW THIS IS THE TIME TO GET SCARED

The most difficult step is when you have to flip the tortilla. To perform that, we need a very big plain dish that can cover the pan and cross our fingers so it doesn’t fall. Try flipping it on top of the sink just in case, as it’s easier to clean there. You need to be fast. Here’s a video so you can see how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QD5PutV6sw

Once you’ve flipped it, put uncooked part facing down back in the pan and let it cook for a minute and a half more or less! Then serve it in a dish immediately or otherwise it will keep cooking, turning dry afterwards.

Tortilla de patatas

Tortilla de patatas

ADVISORY: This is MY recipe. It does not mean that it’s the right way to do it, there’s a thousand different options. I just think it’s easy this way and that’s how I always cook it!

April 10, 2018

It smells like Feria

Belts fastened? It’s time to learn something from one of the biggest traditions in Seville, la Feria de Abril! Most people have been expecting these dates for months, preparing physically to both fit in their outfits and to be able to stand a whole week of dancing sevillanas. There’s a lot to talk about, so I’ll give a brief lesson of history and then I will give you some vocabulary and tips to follow during this coming week.

La Feria de Abril de Sevilla (April’s Fair) started in the 1840’s as a cattle and agricultural fair, and it used to take place at Prado de San Sebastian. It didn’t use to take that long, only about three days, but due to its success, the city hall established during the years that it would take 6 days instead (even though there’s always some organized pre-feria celebration). As it grew bigger with the time, they moved the Feria to Tablada (right attached to Los Remedios neighborhood) in 1973, and has taken place yearly in that location.

Real de la feria

Real de la feria

With that being said, you need to know where to go and what to find in la Feria. If you like going to the rides, there’s a carnival area close to the metro station of Blas Infante called Calle del Infierno (Hell Street). There’s also lots of stands to win stuffed animals and buy churros. Apart from that, you can also find the Portada, the main gate to La Feria, which is located right at the end of Calle Asunción. This is only the beginning of the Feria, though, as it continues throughout the Blas Infante metro station. On saturday April the 14th 2017 before midnight everyone will gather there for the countdown of the alumbrao at midnight, that is the lightning opening of the fair. For the record, that night nobody will be wearing their flamenco dress– it’s the eating-fried-fish night and the people try to wear good looking outfits. From the following day on, you can start wearing all those beautiful flamenco dresses that most of you got already (for boys though, chinos and blazers will do, as I’m afraid there’s no flamenco dresses for us) and start dancing sevillanas! (NOTE: I’m looking forward to have the flamenco class with all the guys studying in sevilla this semester)

My friend (in her flamenco dress) and I at the feria.

My friend (in her flamenco dress) and I at the feria.

At the Feria there’s hundreds of casetas, that is, little tents some associations or groups of friends share and in order to enter to most of them you need to be a member or have an invitation from one. Try getting an intercambio who has a caseta, but otherwise there’s nothing to worry about! There’re plenty of free-access casetas throughout the feria. Some of them are owned by Spanish political parties, but there’s also the ones dedicated to the different districts of Sevilla and more recently they opened a big caseta for international visitors located in Calle Pascual Marquez, 225-229. This reminds me that last, but NOT LESS IMPORTANT, is to get a map of the feria. Most locals get one on their phones, as we keep forgetting the names of the streets and it is difficult to move around. This way, you won’t get lost that much and will be able to enjoy the feria the best. 

February 2, 2018

My cup of tea

Hi guys! I hope you are as excited as me to start over with this blog. I have chosen to write about different coffee shops in Sevilla this time, as most of you like studying at places with a cool atmosphere. Starbucks in Sevilla is an overrated place, the prices are too high for the Spanish students and the quality not good enough compared to other places… so why not going to an actual coffee shop in downtown Sevilla? You’ll notice that Sevilla is a very traditional city, but that does not mean that we don’t have trends, and that we don’t know the meaning of “hipster places”. So put your computer and books in your bag and get ready to discover all these wonderful places full of magic (and free wifi) I’m going to list them here below:

PHOTO 1

Un gato en bicicleta - Calle Pérez Galdós, 22, 41004 Sevilla.

In this place you will find some art exhibitions in the walls and a good cinnamon smell. They hold special events like concerts every month. You can check their FB page, where they post all of the information.

PHOTO 2

El Gallo Rojo - Calle Viriato, 9, 41003 Sevilla

This place is full of natural light, with wide windows and comfy sofas. It’s a quiet place during the afternoon but in the evening they normally organize dancing class, jazz concerts, taco nights and even DJ sessions! They also have lots of different desserts, including vegan cakes.

PHOTO 3

Caótica Calle José Gestoso, 8, 41003 Sevilla

This is both a coffee shop and a bookshop. The first floor is a regular coffee shop with a nice decoration but in the second floor they hold lots of book presentations and speeches about literature, worth a try!

PHOTO 4

Torch Coffee Roasters - Paseo de las Delicias, 3, 41001, Sevilla (Next to McDonalds)

This coffee shop is not as wild as the others. This place is more simple regarding decoration but it’s still nice, close to Los Remedios and definitely a quiet place to gather at.

PHOTO 5

La Cacharrería Calle Regina, 14, 41003 Sevilla

This tiny little place is full of all kinds of objects – even one of the walls is covered by 5 cents coins –  and the cakes here are delicious. You don’t have to come to this places to just study or concentrate, but also to enjoy them! The waiters are always nice and you should also try the different juices and teas they serve.

These are just some of the places I recommend you to go, but changes are always happening and every now and then a new spot opens, so be ready to discover all this locations and if you happen to find a newer and cooler one don’t hesitate to contact me!

 

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