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Life in Seville - Part 3

Ana-Maria works at 3Si as Assistant Project Co-ordinator

Photo curtesy of Ana - Enjoying the sun in Plaza de Espana

'My role as a 3Si Assistant Project Coordinator is really exciting as I get to learn more about how internship programmes are set up and ran “behind the scenes”, while I also enjoy the experience as an intern in Seville. Brighton Third Sector Training is the sending organisation in the UK and 3Si is the receiving organisation here in Spain – they welcome us, take us on local and historical tours, liaise with the local employers (who provide the work placements) and monitor our progress throughout the internship. In addition to graduate groups, 3Si also provides the same support and services to UK college students who come to Seville to gain work experience (for 2-6 weeks).

I am helping with welcoming the college students (picking them up from the airport), taking them on tours and to various cultural activities, attending meetings at their workplace and helping them with the accommodation and any other issues they might encounter. I also help with writing up job descriptions, formatting work references, creating local maps for the student buildings or looking at risk assessments for their workplaces, for example. It is a varied role which offers a great balance between office and city work – I enjoy the flexible and dynamic schedule and I also get to learn more about local places, meet local employers in the catering and tourism sectors (e.g. bars or hostels where our students have their placements) and explore the city while I’m actually working! My colleagues are very friendly and supportive and I’ve been given responsibility from day one – I’m looking forward to the next two months as we will get very busy with around 7 big groups of students arriving in Seville!

Photo curtesy of Ana - My walk towards the office view from Barqueta Puente

During my free time I have been wandering on the streets taking photos, walking along the Guadalquivir River or trying out local tapas. I also enjoy watching the sunset from Las Setas which offers stunning views over the whole city or go to flamenco shows in La Carbonería. So far I’ve visited the Alcazar (free entry every Monday for the last opening hour), Italica (ancient Roman city close to Seville), Faro (in Portugal) and Cádiz and I’m planning to visit Córdoba for the patio festival as well as Granada (with the other interns). After the Easter celebrations and processions (Semana Santa – Holy Week) last month, sevillanos now celebrate Feria de Abril (April Fair), so I’m looking forward to experience the casetas (decorated marquee tents where we can find live music and flamenco dances)!

I have also been trying to improve my Spanish by using the Erasmus OLS (Online Linguistic Support), going to intercambios and Spanish classes or trying my best to speak Spanish wherever I go! Moreover, I’ve been studying and submitting assignments for the Community Development qualification which is part of this internship. There are plenty of wonderful places to visit and interesting things to do around Seville - the only problem is that the time seems to pass so quickly, so it would be a great idea to make a plan before you arrive here and think about what you want to take out of this internship! I’m grateful that this proves to be such a dynamic programme, as I got to meet some beautiful people, experience a different culture and working environment, try to learn a new language, gain a new qualification, see amazing places and also learn a bit more about myself each day, all in such a short period of time!'

Photo curtesy of Ana - View of Royal Alcázar gardens

Matt works as a research assistant at the Biological Research Centre.

Photo curtesy of Matt Slacklining at a free music festival in the Amamillo Park

'The first couple of weeks in Seville has been pretty good, we got time to familiarise ourselves with the city in the first week and it felt like home pretty quickly. There are so many good places to go for food, it’s been pretty hard not spending the whole day eating. I have tried to see as much of the city as I can, which hasn’t been hard with the servici bikes and events on in different parts of the city.

I started my placement in the second week at Estación Biológica de Doñana and it has been amazing so far. The project is studying the effects of bird (flamingos, ibis, spoonbills etc.) feeding habits on the rate of greenhouse gas production from the wetlands at de Doñana national park, so there is a fair amount of time out in the field building enclosures and collecting sediment cores and then in the laboratory processing and analysing the samples. I’m really happy with the project and it is exciting to be a part of it. There is some amazing wildlife in the national park some of which I have already seen, while some like the Iberian lynx remain elusive.

When I have not been working or eating, I have spent my time climbing at the climbing centre and anything I can find really, slacklining, meeting new people at the intercambio and of course taking advantage of the many holidays and fairs Seville has offer, such as Semana Santa, Feria and the free festivals that have been held at various places.'

Kaitlin works as a translator at FACUA

Photo curtesy of Kaitlin - View from her balcony

'I work as a translator for FACUA, a consumer rights group, and I’ve honestly learned so much with every translation I complete. For one thing, I am now somewhat well versed in Spanish legal lingo and every article I translate covers a new topic so I feel like I’m learning something new every day! Everyone in the workplace is super nice, and I feel lucky that even though I work from inside an office, every task is varied and I don’t ever feel bored, which is great!

Seville is so chill, and I love how bright the colours are! I try to spend as much time as I can in one of the many parks dotted around the city, just to relax, maybe do some drawing – in fact, just the other day, the whole group went out on a picnic at Alamillo, which was pretty sweet! There have been a lot of group activities going on, and I love it, I feel like everyone gets along so well, we even have art club every Sunday, and tend to go to intercambios (where people ‘exchange’ languages) every Thursday too. Recently, we even went to celebrate Feria de Abril as well, and everyone was dressed so elegantly! We tried to fit in but I’m not sure we can beat the Spanish in this game… I’ve also travelled to other cities, such as going on day trips to Cordoba and Cadiz with friends, and spending the weekend in Madrid with family, and I plan on visiting other places too!

It does not feel like I’ve lived here for a month already but apparently, yes, I have! At first I was a little nervous about the thought of living abroad for three months, but Seville is the best place I think for trying something like this. It’s a fairly small city, but not completely isolated, so everything you need is within walking/cycling distance and the town centre is almost always thriving with some sort of cultural event. Within the first few days I already felt at home, and I’m so glad I travelled with a group too, because I feel like we are all there for each other, which sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Overall, this is a great experience and I still can’t fully believe I’m living it.'

Emilia works at Kids & Sports as an English Teacher/Sports Coach

Photo curtesy of Ana - sunset view from La Setas

'I’m working at Kids and Sports, an after school gymnastics club for kids aged between 3-12. I love my internship role, I took on this challenge not entirely sure of what to expect or what would be expected of me at work but I have found a place where I can combine teaching English with active games, dancing and gymnastics. The role definitely requires imagination and quick thinking as lessons are not held in a classroom environment- instead I have the opportunity to be creative in introducing new vocabulary through activities and watch my students progress not only in their English language capacity but also their gymnastics abilities.

There is so much to do in Sevilla there’s no way you could find yourself with too much free time. Most of all I have enjoyed walking around the beautiful city and spending time in its green spaces. There are a number of beautiful parks to go cycling, rollerblading, slacklining or to just lie in. The city is full of life and the international atmosphere is great for meeting new people from all over the world. Typically every week I attend a language exchange evening and get to meet other interns, students, locals and tourists for a drink and a chat in whatever language you can.

Adjusting to life in Sevilla has not been difficult- made all the more easier by the great group of friends that have moved out with me as-well as the people I have met out here. The relaxed pace of Sevillan life is a welcome change from what I’m used to and the kind and generous people here have made me feel at home despite the (increasingly less) obvious language barrier.'

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