Mid Program: A Walk Around Seville

 The neighborhood I live in is a residential community full of apartment complexes with parks and cafes on every corner. Every morning I walk out of my building to see the locals starting their day, while walking to university I pass plenty of cafes full of families having breakfast together before hurrying off to school and work. The neighborhood, “Los Remedios” is mostly locals and few tourists, which makes it ideal for experiencing Spanish life. The most Spanish place in Seville is “Plaza de Espana”, an architectural masterpiece designed for the 1928 exposition. The ornate brick towers and medieval architecture of the building easily make it the most beautiful place in the city. Before coming abroad I expected many new experiences traveling with many new people. While that has been true I’ve also had many solo traveling experiences that have made me a more independent person. At the beginning of my program I planned to practice Spanish weekly and be fluent by the time that I left. I have stayed consistent with my practice but am not yet fluent, I expect with more consistent practice I will be. In Seville the best access to community engagement are language exchange partners. Every week I meet with locals to practice speaking. After a couple months of weekly meeting I’ve made great friends with some locals and have had a more immersed Spanish experience. Some students have benefited so much from the English practice that we’ve planned to continue speaking by skype after I have returned to the US. For students who are about to study abroad I recommend that they set goals for their semester and constantly reflect on them to not lose sight of where they want to go.