Exploring Spain and Europe
Once you have arrived in Europe, we are sure you’re going to want to travel. So you might be asking, “Is there time in my schedule to take a quick trip to Italy?” Absolutely. In addition to at least one full week of vacation time during the semester, there is also a couple three- or four-day weekends in the schedule to allow for travel. You can check out the calendars before your departure so you know which days are vacation days.
You will discover that inter-European flights are easy to arrange and affordable. We recommend making travel plans after you’ve arrived in Spain because by then, you’ll know your new classmates and can make travel plans with them. There are also several faculty-led excursions around Spain that you will attend throughout the semester.
Group Flight Info
If you’re attending SIS during the fall or spring semesters and you would prefer traveling with the group, you and your fellow classmates will meet in Chicago at O’Hare International Airport. Together, you will board a flight operated by Iberia Airlines, a partner of American Airlines, and arrive eight hours later in Madrid, Spain. In Madrid, you will either take the high-speed AVE train to Seville or you will chill with your new friends during a layover before climbing aboard the 50-minute flight to Seville.
By this time, you’ll be exhausted and relieved to see the smiling Spanish staff waiting for you in Seville. You’ll be happy that your tired self won’t need to rely on Spanish signs, and instead you’ll gladly follow the staff to a huge bus infinitely more comfortable than your in-flight seat.
As the staff points out all the exciting things from the windows, the bus will drop you off in pairs in front of your new homes. Your warm-hearted señoras will be eager to fill your jet-lagged body with yummy food before sending you straight to bed for a siesta.
The group flights are arranged through Witte Travel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You will receive a Flight Application form that you can send to Witte Travel along with payment for your flight. If you don’t live near Chicago, but traveling with the group sounds less intimidating than flying to a foreign country by yourself, Witte Travel can arrange flight connections to route you to Chicago from your home city.
It is not a problem if you would prefer to make your own travel arrangements. Before you depart for Spain, you will receive the name and address of your host family as well as the name of your roommate. When you arrive in Seville, just show the address to a taxi driver, and he or she will take you to your new Spanish home. Please plan to arrive and depart on the same day as the rest of the group.
We do not arrange a group flight for the summer terms, but fear not! You come from a long line of students who have made it to Spain successfully on their own. Simply plan your travel arrangements so that you will arrive and depart on the days that are indicated in our summer term information and newsletters. Check out the summer calendar for more details.
Before you depart for Spain, you will receive the name and address of your host family as well as the name of your roommate. When you arrive at the Seville airport, just show the address to a taxi driver, and he or she will take you to your new Spanish home.
You will be responsible for getting to the airport in Seville for your flight home. Don’t worry—that sounds more intimidating than it actually will be. All you’ll need to do is call a taxi the day before, and by that time, speaking to a Spaniard will be no big deal. For the sake of space, we recommend asking for a minivan taxi if you’ll be riding to the airport with your roommate.