It’s time to pack
How I found out all the important information to organize my program:
I was ready. I had my program at the University, a Spanish family waiting for me and my flight ticket. It was time to pack!!! I was so excited I started putting things to pack on my bed, all my clothes, accessories, papers, medicines, toiletries… so many things that I realized that I needed some clues to do it right.
I decided to give a call to my friend who had been to Seville in her Study Abroad program too. Her name is Katrina. She was a great help. I am sharing all the clues she gave me to help you pack.
The first thing to take into consideration is the weather. When you arrive in Seville in late August or early September it can be hot. This weather can last through mid-October, but temperatures will soon become more moderate and remain quite pleasant until late November. October and November tend to be beautiful months with lots of sunshine and cool breezes. Expect virtually no rain until late in the fall.
January and February may bring many days that are cold, rainy, and windy. The sense of prevailing cold at this time comes from lack of interior heating rather than from actual cold. You are sure to experience days in January and February that are in the 60-degree range, but there are also many days in the high 30’s to low 40’s range. True bitter cold is unknown, and the thermometer almost never goes below 32 degrees.
Towards the end of February, temperatures climb back up and you can expect really mild weather throughout spring, with some wind in March, and some rainy spells in April. May is probably the loveliest month in Seville weather-wise. Before academic-year and spring-semester students leave in late May or early June, they will have experienced summer temperatures and been to the beach.
Finally, if you are planning on travelling north in the late fall, winter, or early spring, keep in mind that you will encounter much colder temperatures. Now you can make the right decision about what clothes you want to take with you. Don´t forget you might do some shopping while abroad so try to leave some free space to pack your new clothes on the way back.
If you are taking any medication, be sure to bring with you any prescription medications (for allergies, chronic conditions, birth control, etc.) in amounts that will last through your semester/year. All prescription medication must be transported across international borders (including within the E.U.) in their original containers. You should also be sure to have your physician write a prescription with the generic name of your medication and the dosage, in case you run short. If you want to learn specific details about authorized medicines in Spain, check the Guía de Prescripción Terapéutica on the website of the Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios from the Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo: http://www.imedicinas.com/GPTage.
If you suffer from motion sickness, bring a remedy that you know works for you. There is a lot of bus travel during the first few weeks in Spain and if you travel by bus or car to other parts of Spain, you are likely to encounter mountains.
The most important thing would be to make sure you have your Health Insurance. Spanish Institute for Global Education did that for me. If you have to do it yourself, do it before departure. Some of my classmates got the insurance once they were here and it was a bit messy. I wouldn’t recommend this option.
Glasses and Contact Lenses
If you wear glasses or non-disposable contact lenses, you should bring along an extra pair or two in case your regular glasses or lenses get broken or lost. If you wear disposable contact lenses you should treat them as a prescription medication, and bring enough with you to last for the duration of your stay—many well-known brands of contact lenses are available in Spain. As with medication, if you wear glasses or contact lenses you should bring a clearly written prescription with them, in case they need to find replacements in Spain. I wear glasses and I was so happy I had an extra pair because I lost them.
You can find everything in Spain. My recommendation would be to take just for the first few days and then buy what you need once you are in Seville.
I would definitely take my laptop. Make sure that yours can use 220 voltage and that you bring along an adapter (or you can buy one in Spain). Also remember to carry your computer aboard the plane – do not check it through. You may want to consider insuring your computer in case it gets lost or stolen (your parents’ home insurance may actually cover it).
Gifts for your host family
While not required, it is a nice gesture to bring your host family in Sevilla (usually a “host mother” or señora) a small gift from your country, something that takes up little room in your suitcase, is not heavy, and will not break. I got them a magnet for the fridge and a box of Hershey chocolates with a beautiful packaging. In this case, it is truly the thought and the gesture that count. If the gift pleases you and is something that reflects you or your family, or your local region in particular, it will please your Spanish mum as well.
After packing I relaxed and waiting for the date to fly to come. I was so excited about this adventure, wondering how my family would be. Do you want to know? I knew that so I am telling you everything about it on the next “episode”.