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A Semester in Seville: St. John's Introduces New Study Abroad Option

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Students can spend the Fall 2013 semester exploring Spanish language and culture in historic Seville — an ancient city shaped by European and Islamic influences — through a new course in St. John’s University’s expanding Global Studies offerings.

Through the Seville Semester: Discover Spain, students from St. John’s and other accredited institutions can broaden their knowledge and strengthen their language skills in the capital city of Andalusia. The nation’s southernmost province, it was a center of Moorish culture in Europe from the eighth through the 15th century.

Offered for the first time this fall, Discover Spain is the newest of St. John’s semester-long Global Studies options. Students also can spend a term at the University’s residential campus in Rome, Italy, or its location in Paris, France. Another program, Discover the World: Europe, encompasses three cities in a single session. Summer, winter, intersession and exchange options are available throughout Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America.

“Whatever their major, every student will benefit from spending a semester in Seville,” said Matthew Pucciarelli, Associate Vice President of Global Studies at St. John’s. “So much of what we think of as ‘Spanish’ — flamenco, bullfighting, Mediterranean architecture — is evident there.”

St. John’s introduced Seville in Spring 2012 as one of three sites — along with Rome and Paris — in Discover the World: Europe. It will remain a destination for that program as well as a semester-long course. The city, Pucciarelli noted, offers excellent accommodations and exposure to architectural treasures such as the Alcazar, an ancient palace, and La Giralda, a cathedral tower that originally was a minaret.

“Our students will experience so much there,” said Fernando Garcia Catalàn, Assistant Director of the program. “There’s the blend of cultures, the proximity to other important destinations in Andalusia, such as Córdoba, Granada, Málaga and Cádiz. Yet it’s very affordable.”

“Seville represents the fusion of the diverse peoples who settled there — Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors,” said Carmen Fernandez Klohe, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Languages and Literatures at St. John’s. Klohe will teach in the program this fall. “With such rich history all around them, our students will begin their cultural immersion just by walking around the city,” she said.

Seville also will serve as a base for exploring other nearby sites. The semester includes walking tours; a guided river cruise of the Guadalquivir; visits to a beach town in Portugal and the legendary Aracena caves; and a five-day trip to a location that shows off the riches of Spain and its bordering regions, such as the Basque country.

Additional information about St. John’s University’s Seville Semester is available online. Students also may apply online or download an application.