Connecting Worlds Abroad

Experiential Learning

Connecting Worlds Abroad began in 2015 with the goal of providing an affordable study abroad option for every college student. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to study abroad before they graduate. To meet this goal, we work with our volunteer partners to ensure that the experiential learning opportunities we offer are tailored to students’ different needs.

Experiential Learning is Central to Our Mission

Our mission is to give all of our students a unique and fulfilling study abroad experience. We want our students to leave Seville feeling more confident and comfortable with the Spanish language. At COWA, we believe the best way to learn a language is to be fully immersed in it. Our programs are designed to expose students to the Spanish language and culture as much as possible, through our housing, classes, cultural excursions, and experiential learning opportunities.

Participating in COWA’s volunteer program will not only offer you endless experiences to get to know the local sevillanos, the Andalusian lifestyle, and a different work system, but will also give you the opportunity to greatly improve your Spanish. These experiential learning opportunities will also enrich your resume, whether you will be looking for different master’s degree programs or trying to differentiate yourself from other competitors in the working world.

Explore our many volunteer opportunities by clicking on the map on the right.

What former students are saying about experiential learning…

Here is just a sample of the experiential learning opportunities available to students while studying abroad with us in Sevilla:

Colegio Montaigne

Do you like education and being with kids? Colegio Montaigne is a great opportunity, and we’ve spent many years working with them. You’ll be able to help Spanish kids 3-18, as a conversation assistant. Their education will be enriched seeing how you help their English-language skills. There is also the possibility of choosing an age range with which you want to do your volunteering.

Attendis Preschool

Do you like working with small children? This is the place for you! Attendis Preschool is a bilingual educatio center for children between 0 and 3 yrs old. In this center, they use a lot of sesnsory-focused activities for teaching. They have as an objective that the kids grow up learning English and Spanish at the same time. You’ll be able to tell stories, create games, and more.


If you would like to work in a non-profit, this is the place for you! ONCE is an NGO that helps people with visual impairments. It’s the biggest organization in Spain of this type. There, you’ll be able to directly help ONCE members: going on walks, going to the cinema, visiting monuments… All the members know how to speak English, so you’ll be exchange languages and practice your Spanish as well!

Soccer Teams

Are you sporty? We have agreements with both men’s and women’s soccer teams, where you’ll be able to stay in shape and work together with the teams’ coaches. Also, if you like the world of sports photography and video editing, you’ll be able to collaborate, recording and photographing the games and practices for their social media.

Arte y Pureza Ceramics

If you’re an artist, you’ll love this volunteer opportunity! This is a ceramics workshop, in the historic Triana neighborhood. Marisa, the owner, is a ceramics artist, and will help you learn the art of ceramics, a traditional practice in Sevilla since the Roman period. Here you’ll be able to lead workshops, helping students of all ages, in addition to being able to create your own works of art — an unforgettable souvenir to take back with you to the US!

Reyes Leon Dance Academy

Do you like to dance? In Reyes León, you’ll be able to show off your art form. Here, they give traditional dance classes. In addition to helping the professor in her classes and with her students, you’ll also be able to give sevillanas classes. Learn about Spanish culture, its holidays and its dances.

CLASS Bookstore

Do you like literature? Do you want to spend your time among books? In the CLASS school, there is a small bookstore where you’ll be able to do your volunteering. For this opportunity, you should be able to get along well with kids, since somtimes you’ll be asked to read stories in English for the students at the school.

Whatever your volunteer interest, our dedicated staff will work with you to find a volunteer opportunity that fits your needs!

Meet Our Experiential Learning Coordinators


Carlos Valencia


Carlos Valencia is a native of Oviedo but spent 20 years of his professional life in the United States. There, he received his doctorate in 19th-century Spanish literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before teaching at Wake Forest University and the University of Richmond. He then moved back to Seville, serving as director of the UNC in Seville study abroad program for 6 years and now as director of COWA. Among Carlos’s professional interests are the application of new technology to Spanish language instruction and the incorporation of volunteer work into curriculums as a sociolinguistic and cultural learning tool.


Julio Barneto

Volunteer Coordinator and Culture Professor

Julio Barneto was born in Seville and graduated from the University of Seville in 2017 with a degree in Art History, specializing in Seville and its traditions. He recently completed a Master’s program in Architecture and Historical Heritage, also in the University of Seville. Julio has years of experience working as a tour guide in various parts of Spain, and now coordinates the culture classes, guided visits, and experiential learning for our students.

Check out our programs