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Pre-Departure

Hola a todos,

40. 40 days. 40 days until I’m on a plane traveling from New York to Sevilla, where I’ll spend three and a half months studying. I’ve traveled to Spain before on a high school trip, and I’ve been to Ireland a few times, but this is the first time I’m flying overseas by myself.

It’s difficult to piece together the right words to explain the mix of emotions I’m feeling right now. I’m excited and grateful to be embark on this experience of a lifetime. Currently, I’m looking forward to interacting with new people in a new place, trying new food, travelling to new places, and learning new things. Not a lot of people are lucky enough to have such an opportunity to do these things in a place as beautiful as Sevilla.

At the same time, there are a lot of uncertainties. I’m not sure how I’ll do adapting to the “Spanish only” policy at school. I’m an outdoorsy girl, and I don’t know if other students will want to take trips outside of the city with me. I’ve educated myself on culture shock, but there’s only so much a person can do to prepare themself for that.

I know I’ll get homesick, too. I’m close with my family and friends. While I’m abroad, I’ll be maintaining a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend of two years too. We have a dog, Keene, together who I’m going to miss like crazy.

Despite the reservations I have about going abroad, I know that is once-in-a-lifetime experience will absolutely be worth it. I’m looking forward to living in Sevilla for three and a half months and indulging in the experience. Follow up on my posts to keep up with my journey!

Con cariño,

Andrea

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First Impressions: Sevilla

My main goal in keeping up this blog is to give my honest opinion about my experience studying abroad in Seville with Spanish Studies Abroad. Taking part in an experience like this takes a lot of research and preparation so it can be stressful emotionally draining for anyone trying to make it happen. I want anyone who’s considering Sevilla to read my blog and know that I’m being completely honest and not sugar-coating anything.

That being said; I’ve been living in Sevilla for two weeks now, and I’ve been too busy having an amazing time to sit down and write about it.

Everything has truly fallen into place and I feel very at home here. A few months ago I was really nervous about making friends here. Truth is, it’s kind of like freshman orientation all over again. It’s super easy to make friends because everyone is in the same position. Everyone is homesick, misses their dog, misses their boyfriend/girlfriend. We’re all experiencing life in Sevilla for the first time, so everyone has at least one thing in common. I’ve already become fast friends with a great group of students here.

My homestay is amazing. I’m living in El Centro, and my apartment is only a 15-minute walk to school. My house mom, Natalia, is very accommodating and easy to talk to. She cooks for my roommate and me every day which is nice. She studied in the United States for a bit so she understands that it will take time for us to adjust. Thanks to her I feel like I’ve already adjusted very well.

At school, we’re still in the “Intensive Period;” where we only take Spanish classes until the “Continuation Period” begins and we take classes related to our majors/minors. The ever so daunting Spanish-Only policy honestly isn’t so bad. I haven’t taken a Spanish class in about a year so I’m a little rusty, but it’s becoming easier the more I listen to and use the language. The Spanish Only policy is indeed strict but it’s clear that it’s put in place only to benefit us.

So far, I’m really enjoying Sevilla. My next post will go into more detail of what my first two weeks have consisted of.

Thanks for reading,

Andrea Leo