City Discovery: Exploring Sevilla’s Customs and Culture

Discover Sevilla

Sevilla, the capital of the Andalusia region and the 4th largest city in Spain. The city is also home to the Feria de Abril festital and Spain’s largest Semana Santa celebration. Additionally, Sevilla has a long-standing tradition of bullfighting, tapas, socializing on the streets and sun, and is also the birthplace of the famous Flamenco dance style.

You might not expect this, but Sevilla is ranked as one of the best bicycle cities in Europe and visitors can rent bikes through Sevici, Sevilla’s public bike system, to get around.

Don’t miss these Discovery Compass activities in Sevilla!

Intercultural experiences highlight exposure with the local culture, promoting a multilateral exchange of ideas, language and opinions.

If you study in Sevilla during the Spring semester, take part in the Feria de Abril and Semana Santa celebrations. These two very popular Spanish cultural traditions, take place each year and are worth experiencing if you have the chance. These celebrations are filled with parades and other festivities that visitors will not want to miss.

Take a Sevillanas Dance class. The Sevillianas is the “typical and official” dance that it is danced during the Feria de Abril is taking place ; a very lively dance that most of Sevillians know how to dance or at least have some notions about it. In this class the students get to know the history of the Feria de Abril, the Sevillanas and, of course, how to dance them.

ISA excursions and cultural activities highlight historical parts of the local culture to help students better understand their new environment.

Rent a bike and take a riding tour of Sevilla to explore the city’s rich history. Having been ruled at different points by the Moors, Jews and Christians, these influences can be seen throughout Sevilla’s most famous architectural sites.

Visit Sevilla’s Old Town, the third largest in Europe. The city’s Old Town contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the General Archive of the Indies and the Cathedral, in which part of Christopher Columbus’ remains rest.


Sociopolitical discovery highlights social and political activities or experiences.

Take some time and volunteer in the community. The students in Sevilla have the opportunity to collaborate with a number of different nonprofit organizations to serve breakfast to 3-7 year old kids in their schools, work at a soup kitchen, help out in a residence for elderly citizens or more.

Take part in ISA’s Community Service Day. Every semester ISA organizes different activities at this day such as:  collecting nonperishable goods, collecting money to buy presents for the kids, planting trees, etc.

Professional experiences provide exposure to professional development opportunities during an ISA program.

Take part in an internship while abroad. One internship through the Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo-Sevilla’s Education in a Multicultural Context program lets students attend a local school where they assist the local teacher to teach English classes.

Environmental experiences expose students to different environmental aspects of the host country.

Go for a hike in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla National Park located in the province of Sevilla in the Andalusia region. In addition to hiking, visitors can partake in a number of activities from horseback riding to rock climbing and more.

Enjoy the María Luisa Park, one of Sevilla’s main green spaces. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city streets and visit this park to take in a day of leisure. This expansive park and botanic garden was designed by Jean-Claude Nicolas.

Students can take part in many more discovery activities during their time abroad, find out more about what opportunities exist in Sevilla.


The 2015 City Discovery Series aims to showcase one of ISA’s program locations each week. Facts about each location and Discovery Compass activity examples are given, highlighting the areas of Intercultural, Historical, Sociopolitical, Professional and Environmental discovery. The Discovery Compass aims to help students have the best possible study abroad experience by helping them to gain a better understanding of the local environment, customs and people through a variety of experiences.


If you’d like to see more blog posts about Sevilla and Spain, you might find these helpful:

How to Dismantle the Fabled Spanish “Lisp” to Truly Speak Like a Spaniard

Touring the New ISA Study Center in Sevilla

Sevilla at its Best: A Walking tour through Spain’s ‘City of Towers’


Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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