To fully encapsulate my Spanish experience, I have given you to snippets from my journaling there. These two pieces give a sincere view into my study abroad trip.
The first week
My first week in Spain was successful. I think this month is going to be one of the most important experiences in my life. Spain is already the country that I have visited that I like the most. I really like the way of living here in Spain or at least in Alcalá de Henares. All the people are friendly and life here is more relaxed. Also, the food is very rich. I am very lucky because my Spanish mother is an amazing cook. So, I have already tried a variety of Spanish cuisine. I already met many Spanish people too. I found a climbing gym and I have friends from there. I still don’t miss home or my family, but I’ve heard that other students miss the United States a lot. I think I will spend more time in Spain after this month. The Master’s program here is very interesting to me.
I like my classes a lot too. The advanced Spanish class is a bit easy for me, but I think it will be more difficult later. The teacher is a good teacher and I like her way of teaching too. We are reviewing many things in grammar such as past tense versus indefinite and ser versus estar. It’s a good thing because I’ve forgotten a lot about it. My favorite class is translation and interpretation. I have already learned a lot in this class, and I want to work as a translator for a while.
The final week
I’m so tired today. I have arrived in the United States a few hours ago. My girlfriend and I ate at Cracker Barrel because I missed Tennessee breakfasts when I was in Spain. I am very happy with my trip. I think I have learned a lot about the language and culture of Spain as well. My favorite thing about Spain was the people I met there. Now I have people there that I want to see again. When I return, I have to see my host family of course, but also a teacher from the program and Barto, the owner of the air bnb in Barcelona. My experience with Barto was incredible. The experience of climbing the mountain with Barto, John, and Jeremy inspired me a bit. I want to go back to see more of the Pyrenees in Asturias and the Basque Country.
My last day in Spain was very good. I slept in a hostel with my friend from the Netherlands. I went back to the Reina Sofia for the third time. I really like Dali’s works. After this we spent time with new friends we met at the hostel. There were two men from Germany, a girl from Italy, some people from England and two lovers from Brazil. That’s what’s best in Europe. In the United States it is less easy to find people from other cultures. It was a lot of fun because they taught us a lot about their languages and different points of view. I hope I get to see some of them again especially one of the German ones.
Samuel Lennon (BA English) spent Summer 2022 in Alcala de Henares, Spain as part of a faculty-led trip linked with a UTC course. Samuel had the following to say about study abroad, “Get out there.”
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