Off to España!Salamanca, Spring 2012
It seems that the longer you wait for something, the more exciting its arrival becomes. I have been anticipating this semester for many months, perhaps even years, as I have wanted to study abroad since I first heard of the term. My family has hosted two foreign exchange students and both of my brothers have studied abroad, so finally I figured it was my turn. Hoping to improve my Spanish in a lively yet hospitable environment, I decided to travel to Salamanca, Spain. This city is known as the “ideal” place to learn Spanish, due to its reputation for the purest Spanish in Spain and its “culturally lavish, youthful atmosphere”. Now that my distant dream has turned into a rapidly approaching reality, I am getting more excited with every passing hour. And yes, of course I am a little nervous too!
In Salamanca, I will be staying in an apartment close to downtown with a lovely Señora and another IES Abroad student from the US. I will be taking all my courses in Spanish, most through IES Abroad and a couple at the local university. Salamanca is home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Universidad de Salamanca, and I am eager to study at a place so rich with history and culture. It is a city of about 180,000 people, known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, & located in mid-western Spain between Madrid and Portugal. I am excited not only to become familiar with this beautiful little city but also to see the pristine coastal views, majestic cities, and quaint villages in all the different regions of Spain!
I believe studying abroad is about stepping beyond your comfort zone, laughing as you stumble through awkward moments, and allowing yourself to fully experience all the wonderful things another culture has to offer. I hope this semester in Spain is one that is full of cherished memories, new friendships, a lot of delicious food, and unforgettable experiences. I also hope to become more comfortable with the Spanish language and to develop a greater understanding of cultures other than my own. So now I set off with no expectations, but only hopes, a very full suitcase, and eager anticipation for whatever is to come!
¡Hasta luego, América!
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