Sunday, September 15, 2013

My first few days in Spain!





Hola!

The past ten days have seemed like a whirlwind but it's an exciting whirlwind for sure! I would have blogged sooner, but my computer died and I needed to get an adapter and all that jazz, which I was not expecting.

Anyways, I digress. The flight over here was not too horrible, though I could not sleep on the plane. I was more nervous boarding the plane to Madrid then I have ever been before about anything. It is probably the unknown of what awaits you ahead that  is so nerve wracking, but it is an opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself as you overcome obstacles that daily life in a foreign country presents to you.

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My host mom and I!
My host mom, Maria, is absolutely amazing. She is a great cook (and constantly tries to feed me second and third helpings of absolutely everything). We talk in Spanish a lot (obviously) but especially at meals. She corrects my Spanish and makes me repeat it when I make a mistake. Her goal is to make me talk as fast as her. We will see if that works out. However, I am really looking forward to living with her for the rest of the semester.



The classes here so far are interesting. I was much more prepared than I thought I would be but I have a new found appreciation for how difficult the Spanish classes at Ashland are, as they prepared for this experience. I am taking an art and architecture class, a culture and civilization class, a grammar and conversation class, and a Spain and the EU class. Classroom expectations are different in Spain compared to the United States. Students are expected to sit still throughout the whole class without stretching, yawning, or eating or drinking anything but water. Classroom etiquette is much more relaxed in the U.S. It is taking some getting used to!

A Spanish wine tasting at the winery!



The group of students in my program are an awesome bunch of people. We get along really well and seem to enjoy each others company, which is definitely a positive!  We are from all over the United States like California, Oregon, Michigan, and Indiana. There are only 13 of us so it is quite a small group. But it looks as if it will be a good semester to spend it with this adventurous group of people!



In the dungeon one of the castles!


We took our first excursion this weekend! We visited a monastery/church, two castles, and a vineyard/winery! The architecture in Spain is absolutely amazing and I find myself grinning ear to ear as I walk around town and see all of the churches and historic buildings. It was a long exhausting day walking through dungeons and courtyards, but it was very enjoyable too!


La Catedral de Segovia 







Finally, the city itself: Segovia! It a medieval fairytale city that I am living in. Not only is the oldest and largest cathedral in Spain in Segovia, but there is also the Alcazar of Segovia, which is a castle that helped inspire Disney castles! Isn't that amazing?? I definitely think so. The people here are very kind as well and are patient when I struggle with my Spanish when trying to accomplish something.



With all of that being said, I believe this is enough for now! I will trying to update once or twice a week, depending on my schedule. And next time, I will write in both English and Spanish! I figured for this post, it would be much faster for me to write in English and begin next time in Spanish and English.

Hasta luego!

Andrew