It has been about a week and a half since I arrived in Europe, in Spain, but more importantly, in Seville. The beauty of this city was apparent as soon as I arrived and therefore, I decided to explore. With a group of newfound amigos, I walked down the street about a kilometer, trying to comprehend and soak up the reality of this adventure I had embarked on. Everything is all so new and very exciting since I knew I would soon be getting to know the city of Seville very well.
I was right, the next day I took a taxi to my host mother’s home. It is an apartment about 25 minute walk away from the Spanish Studies Center where I take classes. I live with my senora who is originally from Madrid, but fell in love with Seville and has enjoyed living here ever since. In my apartment, there is also another student living there who attends the University of Seville and studies art and english. I have enjoyed living there very much since I get to listen to conversations and weigh in on two different points of views: someone older and not originally from the city, and a younger sevillan student. Of course, we also talk about how things are going for me, and how I like the city and my new school.
As go the stages of culture shock, I am most certainly in the very content and almost euphoric stage. I love the city and my school. The city has so many beautiful, historic and culturally rich sites which include everything from palaces and parks, to the cathedral and Plaza España. The impact these attributes of the city and culture have on you is amazing and something can’t be comprehended in one sole visit. Therefore, I am very glad that I get to spend the next 9 months exploring and getting to know city.
The Spanish Studies Center has made and is continuing to make the transition from my home in the U.S. a smooth one. Of course, it isn’t easy adapting to new schedules and culture norms, but with their help and support through the process, I feel much more confident going into the next few weeks of adaptation. My classes have also played a key role in learning the social norms and the new vocabulary that will help me through the everyday topics I will come up against. Everything from new foods to the family here in Spain is covered, and of course, the spanish verb form vosotros.
Although there is still a lot to learn, I feel I have already learned so much in the past week and a half. Everyday I gain more confidence in the language, navigating the city, and understanding the culture. It has been a great start to my journey and I am looking forward for the day, weeks, and months to come.