Hola! + I'm madison & welcome to Her Sense of Wonder. I am a rising senior at Campbell University studying Biology and Spanish. This summer I am traveling to Europe and I am so excited for you all to be able to come along on the journey!
The Journey Begins
In a little less than 2 weeks I will be on a plane bound for Seville. This alone increases my heart rate. I have never been a fan of planes, and this long trek will be no exception. But, I think that shortly into the flight I will be overcome with excitement, so hopefully it won't be too bad.
I have always had a passion for traveling, but usually my family tags along. I have studied abroad once, but it was not nearly as independent as this program, and I also only went to Belize, so it wasn't nearly as far. I am slightly nervous for this transition all on my own, but I am hopeful that I will learn many life lessons along the way. Being independent is something I have always prided myself on, and I hope that this quality will come in handy during this part of my life.
Spanish is also something that I have always found great interest in. I have taken it at every given opportunity since a young age. I have always felt confident about my skills, but I have not gotten many chances to use it conversationally. I hope that this will be the time and place for me to flourish in that department without being discouraged if I am not as good as I am hoping.
One thing I am really looking forward to is the food. I have always been a huge foodie, and I can not wait to try all that Spain is known for.
It has been such a busy first week here in Sevilla. The Spanish Studies program has many days of orientations so that we will be prepared for our time here. Between class and mandatory activities and trying to explore the city with new found friends, I am exhausted. I am taking the "Advanced Spanish" class and I already feel like I am learning so much. There are only 3 kids in my class total, so we get a lot of participation. It is amazing how talking to your friends in simple sentences and listening to my house mom everyday can teach me so much. Making friends has also been super fun and it is wild how much you can get to know someone in such a short amount of time. We have taken a few walks around the city as a group and have even taken a trip to the beach already. Sevilla has given me so much already, I am looking forward to the next few weeks and all that I have in store.
This photo was taken at the Plaza de Espana. It has been one of my favorite places here in Sevilla so far, and I am excited to go back eventually.
It is so crazy that this is the final week of our first set of classes. This week was filled with a little more homework than usual due to a paper, oral presentation, and our final exam, but nonetheless amazing. It was honestly the quickest week due to how busy we all were. Our field trip was to the Catedral in Sevilla and ended with a 35 story climb to the top. The view was wonderful, and it was an amazing way to see the city from above. One of the fun things about studying abroad is that it is in no way an ordinary experience. Everyday my friends and I try to find a new coffee or gelato shop to do our homework in. There is definitely studying that takes place, but in a whole new way.
I feel like a routine is finally settling in for my time here in Sevilla. Class in the mornings, lunch, siesta, and then time with friends (including doing our homework), and then dinner. One of my favorite parts about the Spanish Studies Program is that the whole school goes on a field trip every week during class. Our trip was on Wednesday, and we went to Alcazar. It was a beautiful church/mosque that had the most amazing gardens surrounding it. The days go by so fast, and it feels impossible to fit everything in. This week we did not have class on Friday, so a group of my friends and I went to Faro, Portugal for the weekend. It was amazing being able to take a break and spend some time on the beach. We were so glad to be home in Sevilla though.
Una descansa. Wow the past 3 weeks have absolutely flown by. This week I had a break from classes, and honestly it was wonderful. I was able to run as much as I wanted and go around the city and explore. I read some of the books I brought from home, and spent time shopping and eating at new places. Honestly, this week is not as busy or exciting as others but I am grateful for it. I was really able to view the city this week as a person who gets to live here, instead of just a short term student. I feel like I got the chance to find what I like to spend my time doing here, so that for the rest of my time here I can continue to do those things. I am so ready to get back to learning, and I am ready to meet the students who are coming for the next term as well as reunite with those from the previous term. Here's to more adventures here in Sevilla!
A new term brings new friends and new classes! It is so exciting to have old friends from the last term, but also meeting new people coming to the program for this term. This week we went to Ronda for our Saturday trip and got to explore the wonderful city. The class that I am taking this term is called "Advanced Spanish 2" and it has a wonderful professor, and there are only 2 other girls in the class. With such a small class size, we are really able to participate a lot and get the chance to get to know one another very well. It feels amazing to be back actively learning Spanish, and I can not wait for the rest of the program!
I finally feel like I am back into the routine of school. This was a short week again, so we did not have class Friday. On Tuesday, we had a short day of class and took a trip to Casa de Pilatos which was a beautiful home a short distance from where our school is located. It is full of beautiful salas and a huge patio along with a garden. It was a full week of school work including an oral presentation, a composition, and a midterm. At this end of this week, I took a trip to Paris, France with one of my friends from the program. It ended up being Bastille Day in France, and it was truly an adventure of a lifetime. We got to watch a military parade, see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, and watch fireworks over the Eiffle Tower. It was an amazing day, and it really made me realize how blessed I am to have the opportunity to study abroad.