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Journals from Sevilla, Spain - Center for Cross-Cultural Studies

2011-02-28 The Beginning of Another Semester

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The beautiful old tobaco factory where I take my University of Seville class

           Walking into CC-CS after being gone for so long was strange, particularly so because all the faces that I had gotten used to were gone, save for the three other Linfield students and the single other yearlong student. Besides, there were three times as many new faces as there were last semester. But being back in Seville felt like being home again. I knew how to find my way without my nose stuck to a map, I knew the good places to go, and, most important, I knew the language. Traveling for so long in so many different countries where I didn’t speak the language was tiring.

            A lot of things were different this semester, beginning with the fact that I was living in the residences rather than with a host family. I’m living with the two other Linfield girls, sharing a triple room with our own bathroom. While the food is definitely worse – nothing like my host mom’s fantastic cooking – it is nice being able to come and go as I please and miss a meal or two without calling ahead. I would not, however, recommend skipping the experience of staying with a host family for a semester, but moving into the residence for the second semester was, for me at least, a very good decision. There are drawbacks – we aren’t fed on Sundays or holidays and we have to pay for and do our own laundry, but I’m enjoying the new experience.

            Another new thing was my class in the University of Seville class. I am taking a class about the history of the Church in the Americas in the 16th through 18th centuries. It is a strange experience taking a class in a university. It lasts two hours each for two days each week and is a completely lecture-based class. For me, it works pretty well, although what is most stressful is that our final at the end of the semester counts as 70% of our grade. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m not too terribly worried.

            Other than these two major differences, life has settled down to something pretty similar to last semester. It’s wonderful being in Seville without stressing out about not knowing the culture. I feel comfortable walking around the city and having conversations. The beginning of a new semester is much more enjoyable this time around, being one of the ones who know what’s going on and where to go rather than one among many who have no idea what’s going on.

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