As you are all arriving to APU, either for the firs time or back for another great year, I am just now settling into my new home in Seville, Spain. I’m so excited to begin this journey with all of you! Hola, my name is McKenzie and I just flew 6,000 miles from LAX to Seville, Spain to study abroad for the semester. I’m taking this first blogging opportunity so that you can all get to know a little about me, where I am going, and what I am doing.
Currently I am about to start my senior year at APU, but instead of spending my last year on APU campus, I decided to study abroad for the fall. I’m a Business Administration major, with a minor in Spanish and dreams of going to law school. Instead of just passing my Spanish classes, I wanted to really learn the language so I decided I had to fully immerse myself in a Spanish-speaking country for an entire semester. I have come to learn and believe that this is the only way to really learn a language, but I’ll go into that more another day. I chose to go to Seville, Spain through Trinity Christian College (located in Chicago, IL). With the Semester in Spain program, I live with a host family, get to travel around Spain, take ONLY Spanish classes, have “siesta” time, and become completely and fully immersed in Spanish culture.
So here I am, sitting on my bed in my room, in my señora’s apartment, in Seville, Spain. I never believed I could be studying abroad, especially in Spain, which is a place I have always dreamed of visiting. However, I’m even luckier than that because instead of visiting here, I get to spend four months of my life living here and I couldn’t be more excited! I arrived earlier this week on Wednesday, September 1st and my adventure is just beginning.
I know this new life in Spain is going to be completely different than my life back in the United States, but who ever said change was a bad thing. It is amazing how being in a culture and using a language (or the little you know of a language) can help you grow so quickly. I’ve been here four days and everyone is already feeling like they’ve started learning more Spanish and classes haven’t even started yet because they start Monday. One huge perk about this program is that it doesn’t matter what level of Spanish you are at. There is no minimum language level requirement so you can come speaking no Spanish, some Spanish or being pretty fluent.
This semester is going to fly by, but I’m sure not without some difficulties. I’m sure classes are going to be a challenge, especially since they are taught entirely in Spanish. Also, as part of the program, we sign contracts saying we won’t speak anything but Spanish while inside our school (unless you are in one of the special Skype rooms where you can use English). Also, my señora doesn’t speak ANY English, so in order to communicate with her we have to speak Spanish. Both of these are already challenging us but it forces you into using your Spanish, which will ultimately make up stronger. Another amazing part of the program is that I get to be surrounded by 45 other amazing students who (mostly) all study at other Christian colleges and universities around the country. We are all here in this amazing country for one main reason: to learn and study the Spanish language and culture. I’ve only been here for 5 days and I already love this place.
I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as often as possible. If you have any questions, comments or have ever been to Spain and would life to offer advice, please feel free! For all the APU students getting ready to start their busy semesters, good luck and I’ll see you all back at APU in January.
Tags: Study Abroad