From the moment I arrived in Sevilla, Spain, I knew this city was home. From the streets lined with pastel buildings and orange trees to the enthralling cultural traditions and the warmest of people, I have loved getting to know Sevilla over the course of a semester. Here are 10 things that are bound to happen to you when you study abroad in my favorite city:
1. Parque Maria Luisa will become your favorite hang-out spot. Home to famous monuments like the Plaza de España, the park is filled with endless paths and charming buildings to explore.
2. Tapas will become a way of life. There’s nothing better than sharing a round of tapas, or small plates, with friends. Traditional favorites in Sevilla include jamón ibérico (thinly sliced ham), patatas bravas (fried potatoes usually served with a spicy sauce), and tortilla española (potato and egg omelette).
3. You will experience the magic of live flamenco. Flamenco is an important part of Sevilla’s cultural tradition. Catch a show or simply watch the street performers!
4. You will have a love/hate relationship with the orange trees. Sevilla is renowned for its seemingly endless amount of orange trees, which bear their fruit in late January. Though they are beautiful, don’t be tempted to try them. Most of the trees are for decoration only and the oranges taste terrible!
5. The Alcazar will be your new dream home. This ancient palace, once home to both Moorish and Spanish royal families, boasts lush gardens, luxurious baths, and breathtaking architecture.
6. You’ll get to know the unique charm of each barrio. Each neighborhood has its own distinct type of architecture and feel. From the culturally-rich, yet touristy El Centro to the vibrant and trendy Triana, be sure to spend some time enjoying all that Sevilla’s neighborhoods have to offer.
7. You will join the city’s brutal fútbol rivalry. The city’s inhabitants are divided between Sevilla FC and Real Betis, so pick your team early and be prepared to support it to the grave.
8. Your Spanish will improve. Whether you come in knowing a lot of Spanish or none at all, living in Sevilla will present plenty of opportunities to practice.
9. You’ll fall in love with the city’s amazing history and traditions. Beyond being one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe, Sevilla is rich in culture and history. Visit some of the museums, most of which are free, and learn about your new home!
10. You will never want to leave. Whether you’re here for a year, a semester, or a week, Sevilla is bound to steal a piece of your heart. You’ll find yourself planning your return before you even leave Spain.
The world awaits…discover it.