Long time no post! I need to catch you all up on how amazing my experience has been so far! Let me start off by saying, out of all the places I have been to thus far, Sevilla is my favorite city. The city has so much to offer such as the architecture, landscapes, plazas, and people! I walk 30 minutes to class everyday, but it doesn’t feel like that long because of how beautiful my walk is. Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo, my school, has the best resources. The staff and utilities have made me feel so comfortable for being in a country that speaks Spanish with a little bit of English. Speaking of Spanish… my Spanish has become soooo much better from being here. If you are a Spanish major or minor, Sevilla is the place to go! They use the dialect that we learn back in the States, which is very helpful.
But anyways, I bet you want to hear about my experiences so far. I have traveled to Madrid, Toledo, Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, Jerez, Cadiz, Morocco, and Sevilla in only 4 weeks! ISA gives you all these opportunities to travel on excursions throughout the program. While being in Granada, we were able to see the biggest Mezquita (mosque) in the world! The mosque is beautiful! We learned that the Catholics took over the mosque and put a church right in the middle of the praying grounds. We headed to Granada right after. In Granada, we were able to see a Flamenco dance. The neat thing about Granada is you get free tapas (appetizers) when you order a drink. So in all reality, you don’t have to buy food if you don’t want to. We also were able to see a garden/fortress called La Alhambra. Beautiful scenery!
One of the places I went with just a few friends was Málaga. I traveled with my new friends Monica, Jaffet, and Austin. We decided to adventurous and go to the beach and spend the night on the beach instead of getting a hostel. We actually could have done that if it didn’t downpour while we were there. It was still an experience I wouldn’t take back. The more, the merrier my mom always says.
The next weekend, we traveled to Jerez and Cadiz. In Jerez, we went to a winery and learned how they barreled the wines and developed the rich taste. We also were given the opportunity to taste test 2 wines called Tío Pepe and Croft. They were both sweet wine wines (my favorite!). At Cadiz, we found a beach to relax at for 4 hours. The beach was extremely crowded because in Spain everybody travels to the beach in June, July, and August on the weekends.
This past weekend, I decided to travel to Morocco as a personal trip of mine. I went with Remy, Austin, Madison, and Thomas from my ISA group. We went through a program called We Love Sevilla. We paid $298 for a 3 day trip that included 2 hotel rooms, 6 meals, camelback rides, monkey interactions, cave viewing, 3 tours (bus, walking), travel there and back (bus, ferry), and a belly dancer show. It is crazy how cheap it was! They have an excursion that goes to Portugal that I am going to look into as well. But anyways, this was probably my favorite excursion so far because of all the things we got to experience. I don’t think I would ever go back to Morocco since it was pretty poverty-stricken, but it was still neat to engage myself in the culture and people. All of Northern Africa is Arabic, which I had no clue about. So you can imagine how surprised I was when I got there!
This week is the last week of Session 1 of my study abroad. I still have one more session, but it is sad to see all my new friends leave. It will definitely be an adjustment, but I can’t wait to meet the new group coming! My time here is half way over and it amazes me how fast this amazing experience goes by. I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for the world! So lucky to be able to do this! I recommend anybody interested in studying abroad to start saving now because it is worth every penny!
PS- I added a video link below. My friend, Austin, made this of our experiences we’ve had so far! Enjoy!Download Video