Sweet Briar College JYS in Seville


I’ve taken only one Spanish class at my college. Does that mean that I cannot apply to JYS?

No. In order to apply to JYS you must have reached a certain level of competence in Spanish (high-intermediate or advanced), which you may have acquired through classes in high school or because Spanish is spoken regularly in your family. There is no minimum number of classes you must have taken at the college level, although we always recommend that if you are not a native speaker of Spanish you enroll in a Spanish class the semester before you plan to study abroad.

To learn more about the difference between the high-intermediate and the advanced levels, click here.

Can I take classes in English in Seville?

The only classes available in English are those taught by the Departments of English Language and Literature. You will need to make sure that your home institution will grant you credit for those classes.

Can I take science classes through JYS?

Students who have a very strong command of Spanish may be able to take classes in the sciences, but JYS does not recommend that students count on being able to do so for several reasons, among others: the schools in which such classes are taught are far from the main University building and it will be difficult to fit them into your schedule; these classes tend to be very hard for American students, who normally follow a liberal arts curriculum, whereas in Spain students focus on their majors exclusively from the first day of classes at the University; the science departments at many colleges and universities in the US will not grant credit towards a major or minor if a class is taken elsewhere.

We therefore recommend that students try to take all their required major/minor classes at their home institutions, and that while they are in Seville they focus on subjects that are unique to Spain, Latin America or Europe. Auditing a class may be a good option for those students who really, really want to get a different perspective on a given subject from the one they are exposed to in their home institutions.

How does the program select host families and match them with students?

Many of our host families have been working with us for years now, but we always need a pool of families to draw from if at any point one of our families cannot take in students. New families usually come recommended by families we already work with. Our Student Services coordinator interviews the family and visits their home, to make sure that they can provide everything that is necessary.

Matching students and families is a delicate task. We take into account the housing questionnaires our students fill out and try to find, not just the best family match, but also the best roommate match.

Will I be able to travel to other places in Europe while I am studying in Seville?

Yes, during long weekends and school breaks. Some of the most popular destinations for JYS students are Paris, Rome, Dublin, Frankfurt, Lisbon, and Morocco. Although this kind of international travel is very appealing to students, it can be quite pricey. Additionally, we have noticed that the students who choose to stay in Seville or travel to other destinations within the country get a deeper appreciation and knowledge of Spain, and have more opportunities to establish long-lasting relationships with Spaniards. For these reasons, we recommend that you try to maintain a healthy balance between traveling as a tourist and living in Spain as a local. You will always be able to visit the world as a tourist, but when else will you get the chance to be part of a local community?

How many students are on the program each semester?

It varies from semester to semester, but the average of the past 5 years has been 33 students per semester.

Do I have to submit all parts of the application at the same time? When will I know if I have been accepted to the program?

No. Each part can be submitted separately. Once your application is complete, it will be submitted for review and you will be contacted as soon as possible about a decision.

How does my current financial aid package at my college/university apply to JYS?

That is a question for the Financial Aid Office at your college/university.

Will I be able to get credit for classes taken abroad?

That is a question for the Study Abroad Office at your college/university.

May I travel to Spain independently or do I have to fly with the group?

Students can travel independently to Seville, as long as they report for orientation promptly with the rest of the students. If you choose to travel independently you will have to make your own travel arrangements to your host family’s home and keep us informed of your itinerary.

What can I do in addition to taking classes?

We have an Extracurricular Activities Coordinator who helps students find all kinds of non-academic activities in Seville and encourage students to get involved. Our coordinator can help you find things like flamenco classes, volunteering with local organizations, and internships in a variety of fields.