Since September I have been studying Spanish for my Spanish major in Seville Spain. After finishing the first semester and going home for Christmas break I’m now preparing to return to Seville for my last semester abroad. While I’m studying abroad in Spain I hope to gain fluency in Spanish so that I can be a more culturally educated person competent in communication. Mastering a foreign language is a ubiquitous goal for many students studying abroad, but many underestimate the effort and commitment a full language emersion requires. Last semester I started my year abroad intending to be fluent by the time I finished the school year but after weeks of only being around American classmates I realized that a full language emersion requires much discipline and motivation to accomplish. My experiences last semester have better prepared me to accomplish my goal because I know what to expect and how to avoid being only around Americans. This semester I’m most excited to engage more with the Spanish language and see what opportunities arise from being around locals more. Last semester I spent most of my time adjusting to Spain and traveling with American friends but now I want to be primarily focused on speaking Spanish. I’m nervous about having a hard time finding consistent Spanish contacts to talk with every week but I’m confident that locals are eager to practice English as well. To overcome these obstacles I’m going to find volunteer opportunities that require me to talk to locals so that I can practice Spanish. This semester I optimistic and motivated to accomplish my goals and go back to Western fluent in Spanish.
Archives for January 2018
Some of the biggest takeaways from this experience were visiting so many cities in Europe, making new friends, growing as a person, being out of my comfort zone and learning from that, living in a different culture and gaining new perspective on home and my life.
From my previous posts you may have noticed that research is something I have been struggling with. I’ve done some broad reading on the history of the Czech Republic through Nazi occupation, the Soviet era, and the separation of Czechoslovakia. I still have a lot to learn about the Czech Republic’s past, but for now I at least have a little bit of background. I stumbled upon someone’s personal blog who seems to have married into a Czech family and offers a lot of practical advice about the dos and don’ts in Czech culture.
Winter quarter has officially started at Western, and it has been 17 days since I said goodbye to Lyon.