My time in Spain is coming to an end! After being in Sevilla, Spain for three months, I can say that I have had the experience of a lifetime. Because of my time here, I’m extremely excited to come back to Europe, and be able to take in even more of Spain, or go further to experience other cultures that I did not have the chance to immerse myself in. I have gotten the chance to meet people from all over the world during my time here, and the global nature of Europe is one that is hard to replicate elsewhere.
I have spent the majority of my time in Sevilla. While I have traveled most weekends, almost every week is spent in school in Sevilla, and therefore I have had a good bit of time to see the city, the people, the art and the culture very holistically (as much as you can while you are a foreign exchange student). I have enjoyed Andalusian Spanish, as it is different from the Spanish I have traditionally been taught in school. I have enjoyed hearing about the experiences of Spanish people, as their history is much older, with more to be learned and understood politically, economically, and socially. I have enjoyed building relationships with people from around the United States (who are in my program) as well as people from around the world that I have gotten to meet and know through my travels. I have enjoyed the celebrations that are practiced in Sevilla, such as Semana Santa before Easter and La Feria at the end of April. I have enjoyed being able to push myself linguistically, socially and educationally while in Europe, the majority of which has been done outside of my classes. Most of all, I have enjoyed getting to know Sevilla as a whole, and being able to live and contribute to the culture for the last three months.
As I have learned during my time abroad, and as it applies to regular life, there are many times when a trip, vacation, event or meeting will not go the way you expect it to. What you want to happen may not, whether that is because of weather, your own expectations, or the people around you. However, it is then an opportunity to be grateful for what did go right and the people you were able to see, while making the effort to create a positive experience out of the unexpected. In going forward, you are then able to use these times to create a better understanding of opportunities and expectations, and have an unforgettable time.