Texas Tech University

Summer Programs are Back in Sevilla!

After a long pause due to COVID, The TTU Center in Sevilla was excited to welcome students once again to Spain. The Center hosted three faculty-led programs during Summer I: Spanish, Engineering and Sociology. 

Students standing in a church in Cordoba, Spain

Students and faculty from the Engineering program at the Mezquita in Cordoba, a fascinating building that was originally built as a mosque and then later had a cathedral built in the middle of the structure. 

Apart from their daily classes, students had a wide number of different excursions and cultural activities that provided a unique opportunity to gain a truly immersive experience and a deeper understanding of the Spanish culture. They visited two of the most important monuments in Sevilla, the Cathedral, the world's largest Gothic construction and location of the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and the Reales Alcázares, the oldest royal palace still in use, built in the beautiful Mudejar style. 

Some of the spots outside of Sevilla visited included Itálica, a Roman city near Sevilla that dates from 206 B.C.E., where they could admire the impressive amphitheater, the fourth largest in the Roman Empire, and the well-preserved houses with beautiful mosaic floors. In Córdoba we saw the beautiful Roman bridge, built in the early 1st century BCE across the Guadalquivir river, and the famous Mezquita, with its breath-taking and unique architecture. 

Students standing in front of the Cathedral of SevillaThe groups also enjoyed program-specific activities related to their fields. Sociology welcomed some guest speakers, who provided expert insight in areas ranging from the Spanish judicial system to the Basque conflict. The Engineering group visited the Port of Sevilla, the only inland port in the country, a winery in Bollullos, and a fantastic talk by a representative from NASA. 

The Spanish students met with conversation partners outside of class to practice Spanish.  These sessions include activities such as going for a walk in the city, chatting over a coffee, going for tapas or participating in a cultural activity. In class local Language Assistants led small discussion groups in order to improve the students' communicative skills in Spanish, as well as their grammar and cultural competence. Other visits included the Fine Arts Museum of Sevilla, a tile workshop and other cultural city walks. 

Additionally, the Music of Spain class, part of the Engineering program had a lecture about the Sephardic Jewish history of Spain and a tour of the medieval Jewish Quarter, where they were able to tour the old Jewish quarter of the city. They also had an Opera walk, since Sevilla has served as an inspiration for some of the most world-famous operas, such as Carmen, The Barber of Seville, or Don Giovanni. 

Photo caption: Students from the Sociology program at the Cathedral of Sevilla, world's largest Gothic Cathedral, and emblematic Giralda tower.

In short it is safe to say that it has been a memorable semester for everyone full of exciting and unique activities. We hope our students return home with some great memories about their experience in our Center.

 Students standing in a Roman amphitheater.

Students from the Spanish program visiting the Roman amphitheater in Itálica.