Becoming Immersed

photo by Austin Mueller | Just practicing my rowing skills in the Plaza de España
photo by Austin Mueller | Just practicing my rowing skills in the Plaza de España

One thing that I love about my study abroad program is how helpful they’ve been in helping us get immersed in Sevilla, especially recently. From the start, each of us has been living with a host family, which has helped tremendously. At times I’ve been jealous of others studying abroad and living in apartments, but when I think about it, they’re basically living lives similar to how they would in the U.S., but just in another location.

photo by James Hayden | I loved talking to my new friend Marie Carmen in the nursing home!
photo by James Hayden | I loved talking to my new friend Marie Carmen in the nursing home!

After starting classes with Spanish students a couple of weeks ago, I’ve felt increasingly immersed by making friends in class. Now, I’m beginning to meet even more people as we’ve just started volunteering at an hermandad (basically a group within a church that does a lot to help out the neighborhood), where we’ll be helping to teach English, and we’ve also just started talking with the elderly in a nursing home. After just one hour in the nursing home, I learned three new words from the hilarious woman I talked to. I look forward to going back to the nursing home and talking with her some more.

Additionally, we’re beginning to teach English once a week at one of the top schools in Sevilla. For more on what my first English teaching experience was like, look out for my next blog post.

To top it all of, we’ve just started with an intercambio program, where we are each paired up with another Spanish university student with whom we’ll spend one hour a week talking in English and one hour a week in Spanish. I met my intercambio, Rafael, for the first time last week, and loved the experience! He and I met up with one of his friends and his friend’s intercambio, who is a friend of mine from my program, and we just hung out in a coffee shop/bar near my house and had fun talking and playing foosball. After just one meeting, I already feel like I’ve learned a lot from my intercambio – both Spanish words and about Spanish culture.

For more updates on my immersion and experiences in Sevilla, Spain, look out for my future blog posts!

Happy travels,

-Mikala-

 

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