Academics Abroad by Kanyn Bloodworth

My academic experience here in Spain differs in regards to my usual experience on campus in Charleston. To start, my classes take place in a charming and mystical converted convent in the heart of the medieval city of Trujillo, Spain. With a wrought-iron gate to enter, expansive arch walkways, and windows with breathtaking views, you can already see how it differs from the halls of the Maybank building. You can find my classroom on the third floor of the building. We set the desks up in the shape of a circle so we can better engage with one another during class time, and beautiful large windows look out at the campo that lies behind La Corria. “The campo” is the large plot of land that stretches out beyond the perimeter of the city. With roaming herds of sheep and horses grazing in the lush green landscape surrounding what’s left of the stone walls that once stood around the castle. On Wednesdays, when I’m not studying Hemingway or reading Chicana feminist literature within these walls, I am on an all-day excursion with my group. These trips range from being forty-five minutes away to two hours. We have traveled to the cities and towns of Merida, Cáceres, Toledo, Monfragüe, Plasencia, and Guadalupe (among others). While exploring the endless ancient streets Spain offers, and the rich history of Spain’s past in a normal manner every Wednesday (in place of class time in a classroom), it is apparent how much my academic experience truly differs abroad. On these excursions, we visit museums, places of worship, and national parks. We examine art, the differences in religion in Spain, and the breathtaking views Extremadura has to offer us. Alongside these excursions, we grow closer to one another at group meals and hours talking on the bus. I am beyond thankful for the endless opportunities this trip has given me to explore my academic interests and expand my horizons.

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