Hello again and sorry for the delay in posting, but it has been quite a busy week here in Sevilla.
Last Monday, instead of going to our orientation classes with our study abroad group, Caroline and I were taken to the Universidad Pablo de Olavide to take a language placement test that would determine which level of classes we would be permitted to take. The test was short- 40 multiple-choice questions and two small essays of eight sentences each. On Tuesday we returned to the university to pick up our results with which we were extremely happy. We both placed in advanced level II, the highest level below the native speakers attending the school, and subsequently were permitted to take any class we liked.
I am enrolled in 4 classes for a combined total of 12 credits: Culture and Civilization of Spain; Art History of Sevilla; Cultural Psychology; and, the one I’m most excited about, Tapas, a four hour long course where we learn to cook both traditional and popular tapas! Luckily for me, three of my classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays and the tapas course is once a week on Tuesdays, so not only do I have Fridays off but I have Thursdays off as well! This leaves me ample travel time and also, occasionally, allows me to take advantage of the incredibly cheap Wednesday flight prices! So far, we’ve been in class for 4 days and I have no complaints. None of my classes really have homework, rather they encourage self-study time outside of class through readings and reviewing course material.
This past weekend my study abroad group went on two trips. Saturday, we had an early bus ride to La Rabida, a monastery where Christopher Columbus stayed and pitched his idea to find a new route to India. The location was so rich with history. It also featured the exact replicas of the three ships Columbus used to sail to the new world, which we were allowed to enter and explore. After La Rabida we hopped on the bus again and headed for the beach at Mazágon for the rest of the day. The beach was absolutely gorgeous, and relaxing compared to the rest of the week, but unfortunately I underestimated the power of the Andalusian sun and my back is now a painful shade of hot pink. Sunday morning we met early in front of the Alcázar, a palace situated in the heart of Sevilla. Half Arabic architecture, half gothic, the palace was nothing short of stunning. I snapped a few good photos, too!
So far, I am loving everything about my experience here in southern Spain and can’t wait to see what’s in store for me the rest of this semester. I’ll keep you posted!