The International College of Seville (ICS) is a private, independent, cultural association whose basic aim is to serve as a center for the promotion of international education. The ICS is recognized by the Government of Andalusia under the Spanish Education Act of 1991, and is authorized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Junta de Andalucia to offer U.S. college-level courses. The ICS was previously known as Institute of International Studies, an institution founded in 1982 and offering, in cooperation with different U.S universities and colleges and the Faculties of Philology and Geography & History at the University of Seville, a multi-faceted program for students wishing to study in Spain. The classrooms, a reference library, TV room, Internet facilities, study areas and administrative offices occupy a three-story Andalusian villa located in the charming neighborhood of El Porvenir and next to the beautiful María Luisa park.
The program consists of a wide academic component centering on the intensive study of Spanish language and culture, while offering a complete cultural immersion in the life of the Spanish community. Those ICS students with a sufficient language proficiency may also choose to enroll in upper division courses at the University of Seville. As a way to accelerate language acquisition at all levels and to gain a working knowledge of the host culture, students enrolled at the ICS have the unique opportunity to live with local families or in typical student residences.
Students enrolled in the ICS academic semester, year-long or summer intensive programs receive official transcripts from the ICS, fully accredited U.S. sponsoring institutions, and from the University of Seville, if applicable.
The ICS is located near the city center of Seville, and within walking distance of the University. Nearby are found all the amenities of college life: cafés, shops, banks, student hostals, and much more. Within walking distance are most of the famous historical sections of the city.
The ICS neighborhood: A Brief History
Until the late 19th Century the neighborhood known today as ¨El Porvenir¨, the neighborhood of the ICS, was open grassy land on which cattle roamed and where stood a lone Mudéjar-style country shrine dating back to the late 14th Century. In the early part of the 20th Century the municipal government privatized a great deal of land in this southern part of the city in order to begin construction in anticipation of the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. By 1914 a number of small hotels for the visiting elite as well as homes for the Exposition workers had been built. One of these homes is the present-day site of the ICS.
By 1937 , the former country shrine was transformed into the parish of San Sebastián, as it is known still today, and the streets which during the Exposition were private and for names held hand-written posts of the names of the American country participants to the Exposition, were officially urbanized. Sidewalks were constructed, and trees and bushes were planted abundantly and strategically, giving the neighborhood an air of ¨City Garden¨ as people quickly began to refer to it.
El Porvenir remains today a purely residential neighborhood of beautifully crafted and gardened chalets. It is a neighborhood in which there still remains an abundance of sweetly smelling flowers, colorful bouganvilla bushes and shady palm trees. To its historic bodegas and taverns are now added cafés, cafterias, and some excellent-quality restaurants. Its close proximity to the María Luisa park makes this neighborhood an even more special place to live and study.
It was precisely here, in the famous María Luisa park, where the Ibero-American Exposition took place. Exhibitions from Spain, Portugal and the Americas were displayed in attractive, purpose-built pavillions that are today used as museums, military headquarters, cultural and educational institutions, and embassies and consulates. The Exposition brought together all the expertise needed to modernize the city. It marked a period of urban development in the city's southern districts, after nearly 20 years of preparation.
The María Luisa park offers a harmonious blend of architecture and vegetation. The beautiful flower beds, the orange and palm trees, the centenarian elms and Mediterrenean pines, the shrubs, grottos and ponds all give the park a marvelous fairytale quality to it. With its extraordinary blend of bustling European avenues, its peaceful oriental courtyards and its romantic landscaped gardens the María Luisa is regarded as one of the loveliest parks in Europe. It's no small wonder that one can easily find ICS students stretched out on the grass reading a book, taking in the sun on a brightly tiled bench, or simply chatting with friends at one of the many outdoor terraces... nearly any day of the week.