Erasmus+ Student Rhys Templeman, originally from North Wales, has come over to Seville to take part in a 3-month Erasmus Hospitality Internship hosted by 3Si as an Events and Hostel Assistant. He is responsible for looking after college-age students on short-term programmes.
We meet him today at the Alameda House Hostel following a much needed avocado tostada y café con leche breakfast at the Café Piola in Alameda de Hércules. A throng of students emerge as we pass through the large blue doors; the distinctly English voices indicated we had come to the right place. Passing through we see Rhys corralling the group to the Salida, this is his first week on his internship and it seems as though he has settled into the flow of things with ease. On the sun soaked roof-terrace of the hostel we quizzed Rhys on his first impressions.
What were your expectations of Seville before arrival?
I was expecting Seville to be a relatively small and quaint place with maybe not that much going on but an interesting place nevertheless.
How does Seville differ from your previous expectations?
I was shocked at how different it is. It’s larger than I thought, it’s got so many things going on and it’s got such a rich culture and history. Seville has about 3000 years of history and it’s really interesting just learning about it. The cities I’m used to going to generally don’t have that much history associated with them. In Seville, history is seen on every street-corner, from the converted Moorish minaret on the Catedral de Sevilla to the Roman walls surrounding La Macarena.
What did you find easiest about moving to Seville?
As the weather and lifestyle is nice and there is plenty of stuff to do it wasn’t difficult to settle in. Ive also found the people here are friendly, I have still not come across anyone who’s unfriendly even though we are essentially tourists to the city; people treat us nicely. Discovering new things to see/eat/experience has been very easy as there are just so many options in Seville.
What did you find hardest about moving to Seville?
The fact that Seville is very far from home and such a culture shock that I have been a little bit homesick at times. As well as this Siesta times in restaurants and shops closing around 14:00-17:00 leaving you wondering what to do with yourself. Also having to speak Spanish to get by as I am not quite there yet it, still on a pretty basic level
What has been the most enjoyable event or activity in your first week in Seville?
Honestly, just chilling out in La Alameda [deHércules], in the coffee shops such as Café Piola which is a really nice place to hang out, especially in the evening/night. This is when there’s lots of people around socialising and the kids are playing in the square. Everyone’s just having drinks and having a good time out on the street, which you don’t really see very often back in the UK, especially in January.
What event/place/activity are you looking forward to the most in the next 3 months?
I heard that there is a carnaval festival occurring soon in Seville which I am really looking forward to as it will be a very rewarding to learn about the Sevillian culture through this experience. As well as the Electronic Lunch this weekend [hosted by the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC).]
What are your initial thoughts on the Macarena District?
It’s nice; it has all the essentials, for example, restaurants, supermarkets, pharmacies. However it is fairly easy to get lost as a lot of the streets are pretty similar. It gets a bit easier when you walk further into the city as there are more points of reference. The apartment accommodation itself is nice and homely, I have no complaints.
What are your initial thoughts on Seville as a whole?
Honestly, I could see myself living here when I’m older, potentially staying here straight after this placement, it’s just really sweet. It’s lively, it’s not too overwhelmingly big and busy that you feel lost or just a number in a system which I sometimes feel back in London. It’s more relaxed, a nice size, plenty of stuff going on and the weather’s really nice (during the day).
We will be meeting Rhys again in the coming weeks to find out how he is getting on with his internship. What were your first impressions of Seville?