My First Week in Sevilla…A Reflection

My first thought when I arrived in Sevilla was: “What have I gotten myself into??” Immediately after I landed at the airport in Sevilla on Monday, I was rushed into a cab and was off to my homestay. The 20 minute taxi ride was when it finally hit me that I was actually studying abroad and that this was going to be my home for the next four months. I was dropped off at my homestay COMPLETELY unaware of my surroundings or what lied ahead of me. I was greeted at the door of the apartment by my host mother’s daughter as my host mom was out running errands. She made me hot chocolate (which is called Cola Cao here, it took me a while to figure this out lol) and I realized how rusty my Spanish was as I could not understand much of what she was saying to me or how to respond. Finally, after what felt like ages, my host mom arrived along with my roommate. I am sharing a room with another girl in my program, she goes to the University of Maryland. My host mom walked with us to our orientation in order to show us where the school is from the apartment. My apartment is in a neighborhood called Los Remedios, which is a 20-25 minute walk from the Center, which is where my classes are. Even though the walk is a bit long, the views along the way could not be any prettier. I pass many pastry shops (very tempting) and the Cathedral along with crossing over the Guadalquivir River every single day.

The first few days for me were the most intimidating days of my entire life. My school has a Spanish Only policy where we can only speak in Spanish whenever we are on mandatory trips or in the building unless it is a drastic emergency. So imagine meeting the other students in my program and attempting to get to know them while speaking a foreign language. Long story short, I was very overwhelmed and frustrated. It was like freshman year of college all over again, except this time, all in Spanish. Even though the first couple days in Sevilla were very difficult, the natural beauty of the city reassured me that everything would come together eventually.

Fast forward to a week later, I am absolutely in love with Sevilla. I have made a great group of fast friends and every day I look forward to exploring a new place in my city. Meals with my host mom continue to get more in depth and go beyond basic conversations and she is a GREAT cook. In Spain, the most important (and largest) meal of the day is lunch, which is my dream come true. So we always have salad with olive oil and vinegar and then some sort of meat for lunch and then for dinner, normally we have soup and potatoes cooked in a variety of different ways. So in conclusion, my feelings towards studying abroad have done a complete 180 from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. Now, I am so excited continue to improve my Spanish and make lifelong memories during this four month long journey.

The great girls that I have met from my program: Sofia, Haley, and Andrea. This pic was taken at a field trip to Italica.

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