Well, today was my first day of classes with Spanish students! It definitely was exciting but also very overwhelming at times.
To begin, it took me close to thirty minutes just to find my classroom in the Universidad de Sevilla. The class layouts make no sense (just like the class schedules). The numbers of the rooms aren’t always in chronological order, and while there were maps on the walls, my classroom wasn’t on any of them! Eventually after asking two different people for help who didn’t help at all, I ran into some janitors, who thankfully showed me the way.
As I walked in the classroom, all of the Spanish students just stared at me. That was definitely one of those moments where I felt very obviously non-Spanish. However, once in the classroom, I did make friends with some of the students, which was nice. I will say, I’m not sure if I will continue with that history class or will switch to a different one, as the professor was difficult to hear (even from the third row). While his Spanish wasn’t too hard to understand, it was very difficult straining to hear and also understand the foreign language. He also mentioned about 6+ different books we need for the class but never wrote the names or authors down, so I missed a good chunk of those.
Later, I went to a class at EUSA, a smaller private university that houses our study abroad program. I did enjoy this second class much more, as the professor spoke much more slowly and louder. However, I will say I was extremely surprised at the behavior of the Spanish students. They were so loud during class – so loud that it was bothersome and made me cringe just listening to it. That was the only part that made the class a little difficult because they were all yelling while the professor was trying to teach (Granted every once in a while, one of them would shhhh everyone very loudly (also cringe-worthy).). Yet, the students in this class, while loud, were very nice to us Americans. A few of them invited us to hang out and talk in the school café with them in between classes.
And tomorrow begins day two of class! I look forward to seeing what kinds of things I will learn from these classes and whom I will meet.