Lewis works at Estación Biológica de Donaña as an Assistant Researcher
Photo curtesy of Lewis, in Doñana national park with a Lentisc
'As a research assistant at Estación Biológica de Doñana, I have been doing lots of different tasks and have learned a lot already. I am assisting a PhD student with her research on a species of plant called lentisc, and the species of birds that interact with it. Some weeks we drive to Doñana National Park where we stay on site for 3 days in order to collect field data. We set up GoPro cameras to catch birds foraging for lentisc fruits, collect bird droppings in collection trays under perching sites to determine the species using DNA, and collect fruits for measuring. Back in the lab, I check the viability of the fruits, and also weigh them and take measurements. I also watch the GoPro footage to identify the different species of birds feeding on the lentisc fruits.
Photo curtesy of Lewis, Lentisc (Pistacia lentiscus)
Photo curtesy of Lewis, Separating the Lentisc fruits by viability (non-viable fruits float) and ripeness
There’s no shortage of things to do in Seville during our free time. We have mostly spent our weekends cycling around the city, hanging out in the park, and getting tapas and drinks in the evening. One weekend we went as a group to Cádiz to spend some time at the beach. I have also joined a climbing gym which I really enjoy going to.
The adjustment to living in Seville has been effortless. Although it’s a large city, it’s very easy to get around and it often feels like living in a small town. There is also quite a large community of Erasmus/international students living in Seville which is really nice.'
Photo curtesy of Lewis, Wild boar (Jabalí) in Doñana national park
Maya works at Cooperación Internacional
Photo curtesy of Maya, My friends Lewis, Rhona and Juliette watching the sunset in Cádiz
'I work for Cooperación Internacional, a non-profit organisation, both in a foodbank and at an after-school English language support club in the eastern part of Seville. At the foodbank, my colleague Rhona and I assist the completely volunteer-run ‘sevillano’ team in the daily distribution of dry food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and personal hygiene/cleaning products to over 100 families each week. We also help with the unloading and organisation of the donations supplied to the foodbank. Not only is the work at the foodbank rewarding but it also provides me with close insight into the lives and culture of people from Seville and the dynamics of poverty within the city and its surrounding areas. As the foodbank is entirely volunteer-based, there is a real sense of passion and commitment towards community development. Esperanza and Jose Luis, who run the foodbank, have both volunteered for foodbank charities for over 40 years – their dedication to helping others is inspiring. As no one in the foodbank speaks any English, it also provides me with an exposure to a constant stream of Andalusian Spanish dialogue, which is challenging but helping me to rapidly learn and improve. This week we have just started teaching at the after-school English language club for teenagers. Some students behaved better than others, but we are hoping as time goes on we can build relationships with the ones who continue to come back and help them where we can with their English homework and language practice. I did not know what to expect coming into this work experience, but so far it has already taught me a lot both about myself, and about helping others!
I’ve been loving life in Seville thus far. There are endless things to do and see both in Seville and in the surrounding Andalucía province. I’ve made some great new friendships within the group of interns who I spend most of my time with exploring Seville both on foot and by Sevici bicycle! I enjoy just walking around the city both seeing the sites as well as immersing myself in the Spanish way of life – which includes lots of tapas and drinks in outdoor plazas! We also went to Cádiz in a large group for one of the weekends we had off from our work placements, which was a beautiful beach break from the Seville city heat. I look forward to continuing to explore all that Seville has to offer and a few other cities in the Andalucía area.
Adjusting to life in Seville has been a pleasure. I appreciate the Spanish way of life and have gratefully adapted into the everyday cultural customs, such as eating meals and going out for evenings much later than we would in England! All of the people I have met from Seville have been nothing but warm, open and welcoming. Everyone is happy to offer suggestions of the city and area, help me with practicing my Spanish in return for helping them practice their English, and are always looking to meet new people and make new friends. Adjusting to the Andalucían Spanish has been a challenge as the Spanish I have always learnt is Latin American Spanish, which is evidently very different! However, slowly and surely I am improving and can’t wait to continue to do so as my time here progresses!'
Photo curtesy of Maya, Wandering around the yellow streets of Seville
Lauren works at OneWay Language School
'I’m working as an English Teacher at OneWay Language Academy close to the centre of Seville and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. It’s about a fifteen minute cycle from my house. I teach English to various different classes with my youngest students being four and my oldest, at the moment, being thirteen or fourteen. No one day is different and the kids are really well behaved but also really energetic. Their English is also much better than my foreign language skills were at their age! Some days are better than others and some classes just naturally go better than others. It’s all a part of teaching and I’m learning from it and thinking about what I can do to change the aspects that don’t go so well. The other staff at OneWay are great, helping me to understand the culture and to get the most out of the city by giving us recommendations
During my free time, I have been spending a lot of time with the other interns. I work from afternoon to evening whilst the majority of other interns start work in the morning. I use my time in the mornings to lesson plan, practice my Spanish skills through the online platform we use and also to work on some of the assignments we have to do. Sometimes, I meet people for some lunch or coffee before work. At the weekends, I have explored other parts of the city with the interns. We have also been to various events and shows like an electronic music set in an old monastery and to a flamenco show.
Photo curtesy of Lauren, the streets of Cadiz
Two weeks ago, we all went to Cadiz which was great. We got to know each other a bit better and spent the day on the beach sunbathing and having a few drinks. The food here is great and so I’ve been busy trying out all the recommended tapas bars. My favourite place is actually a little Venezuelan restaurant just round the corner from our house. Not sure how many times I’ve eaten there already. Seville has got so much to offer. It has beautiful parks, beautiful architecture round the centre and a beautiful river, too! You’d never find yourself bored here. I have also taken up salsa with a few other interns. It’s been a great way to practice my Spanish and meet locals whilst also learning to dance.
I’ve found the transition to living in Seville pretty straightforward. It’s a beautiful, diverse city with so much to offer. I’ve not found anything frustrating and not had any real difficulties. The heat can be a bit much sometimes, especially as I have to leave for work in the middle of the afternoon when it’s really hot but I’m adjusting. The difference in timings for daily routines is also a bit different with dinner not eaten till much later in the evening than it would be in the UK, but again, I’m adjusting.'
Tabitha works at FACUA as a translator
Photo curtesy of Tabitha
'I am working at FACUA - Consumers in Action as a translator. My work consists of reading through webpage articles the organisation has posted over the last year or so and translating them into English. Not only has this helped with my Spanish vocabulary but I’m also learning a fair bit about consumer rights in the process too.
In my free time I’ve been exploring what the beautiful city of Seville has to offer; from interesting restaurants offering delicious food and underground bars, to the breath-taking parks and sites such as the Plaza de España and the Alamillo Park. I have also attended a few of the intercambios which are held at one of the local bars, which allow me to practice my Spanish as well as meeting new people who may want to practice their English. Through this, I have also been able to practice the German I have been learning via Duolingo.
We have also had the chance to travel a bit; last weekend we went to Cadiz and got to spend the weekend on the beach, soaking up the sun. Next weekend we’re planning to go to Huelva and do the same!
I’m really loving living here and I could definitely see myself living here in the future on a more long-term basis. The Spanish way of doing things is, of course, a little different to the English style but that’s definitely part of the fun of adapting to a new culture.'
Roxana works at Colegio Britanico de Seville
'My job as a teaching assistant at CBS requires a lot dedication and patience as working with little kids (from nursery to year 2) can be challenging sometimes, but I love every minute of it. My main role is assisting children in activities activies that includes literacy, numeracy and English lessons, but I also have to supervise break/lunch time. I didn't know what to expect as I didn't work with large groups of little ones before, but it feels very rewarding to offer extra support for the children that need it! Plus, you get to have a few more little friends.
During my free time I usually go out and explore the city's attractions and pubs or visit other places (like Cádiz) with my housemates and other students. As my work is from Monday until Thursday that gives me 3 days off to wander around new places. I love discovering new restaurants and taste the flavours of Spanish food. Something not to miss is intercambios every Thursday night where you have the chance to meet new people and practice your Spanish.
Photo curtesy of Roxana, sunny Cadiz
I enjoy the sunny weather as well as walking around the beautiful city of Seville. Food is cheap, the apartment is nice and having lovely housemates definitely is a plus. Actually everyone is lovely and that helps a lot at adapting to new places. From cuisine to people and places its just easy to love Seville.'