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The rediscovery of an old passion - kayaking in Seville


I lived in Sevilla in 2022, and I liked it so much that I decided to come back in 2023 to do the ELTAB placement. The quality of life here is exceptional, the cityscape is stunning, and the Guadalquivir adds an extra layer of beauty to the whole scenery. Moreover, it is full of cultural activities and events all year round, to the point that it is a real struggle to dodge the FOMO!

Doing my ELTAB internship at Cartuja Idiomas has been very rewarding too. The academy has very good facilities and tools for teaching English, which definitely helps to increase the quality of my lessons. The fact that it is located in the business district of Cartuja island, surrounded by the eccentric buildings that once hosted the Sevilla World Expo of 1992, makes it a fascinating commute to work every day.


Tarifa


After a hiatus of more than ten years, Sevilla gave me the opportunity to go back to sprint kayaking. The Guadalquivir (`the big river´ in Arabic) crosses Sevilla from north to south and is among the best flat waters in the world for paddling. Indeed, many Olympic athletes from around Europe often come to spend a season training in the High-Performance Centre, by the margins of the Guadalquivir. Not to mention the river´s wonderful history, Magellan's fleet left the harbour of Seville for the first successful trip around the world, coming back here exactly 500 years ago.



A special weekend trip for me: Ronda was probably one of the most iconic places I have visited. It is located about two hours’ drive south of Seville in a valley between two picturesque mountain ranges, Sierra de Grazalema and Sierra de las Nieves. The town was founded by the Romans and, after passing by the hands of the Visigoths, became an important centre during the Muslim period of Andalucía. The XVIII bridge that links both sides of the ancient city is definitely the cherry on the cake, but visitors should not miss the chance to explore its other historic sites and the many hikes that can be done around the city and on the surrounding mountain ranges.

Ronda


The fact that I was already fluent in Spanish before moving to Sevilla helped me a lot with communication and making local friends. Nevertheless, I´ve never ceased learning Spanish. Gpractisingoing out with my Spaniard friends is always a good opportunity for practicing the Andalucian twang and learning new expressions.

I should also mention the Spanish habit of `salir de tapas´, which I gladly incorporated into my routine at least twice I week. A tapa is a small portion of food that accompanies a drink (a historical strategy to avoid getting drunk too fast!). They tend to be very cheap (around € 3,5) and diverse, with almost every bar having their unique dishes and specialities.


Churros, chocolate y cafe con leche


One advice I would give to future interns is to learn at least some basic Spanish, it will make your life much easier. Drink slow and don´t mock around, Seville has (literally!) a bar in every corner so, it can be very easy to get side tracked by their bohemian lifestyle and lose the focus on your work placement and all the other good things that the city and the Andalucía region has to offer.

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