To study abroad more than immerse me into a new culture, it helps me know a new side of me. It was an excellent experience, I comprehended the cultural roots of my country, Venezuela; and I was able to explore being a student in a different country. Now that I am back home, I am able to see how much I have changed; I have a new view of what is to be living and how grateful we have to be in our everyday.
Since the first moment, it was an adventure, I was moving into a new continent without knowing how special Seville going to become after living the experience. Personally, it was my first time traveling on my own; I knew that moment that I had to be very responsible all the time and break my comfort zone. I was very excited because I didn't even know my roommate or my host-mother were or look like (I only contacted them through email twice before going there). I tried to have a new taste of the sense of exploring through studying a semester in a new place.
The program that I worked with was perfect in all conditions, from pre-departure until we finished the program. Before, they explained every single detail of the lifestyle and how a student can be involved in the Spanish culture very easily. I had kind of an idea, but It wasn't clear until I went there. What caught my attention from the first moment was how passionate the staff works in the program, they are very organized, detailed and I was able to notice how much time they spend in their day into the program, always with the best attitude and showing love in their activities. They gave me a warm welcome and made me feel like home, I was very comfortable and you can trust them with the eyes closed. They offered a bunch of activities for students and it helped me to get knowledge about Spanish lifestyle and history. Some of them were city tours, field trips, cultural visits, internships, volunteering, dance classes, cooking classes, etc. I enjoyed all the activities and I learned how to see the things from life with a different perspective.
Where I stayed was in a student residencia, I lived with a host-mother and a roommate. We all come from different cultures, my host-mother was Spanish, my roommate American and I am Venezuelan. I love that they are part of my experience in Seville, we shared and I learned from them. My host mother is an amazing person, she is the sweetest woman I have ever met, she is a very special person to me. My host-mother is very smart and is the kind of person that you can have a deep conversation with. She explained me very detailed every single aspect of Spanish culture, I really enjoyed talking with her about history and art. She is a happy person who knows how to enjoy life and take advantage of the minutes that life gives us. I used to talk to her before going to bed, it helped me to think about what I really want to achieve in life, inspire me to take rest and start a new day. She is a very peculiar person with an explosive personality and an extraordinary mentality.On another hand, my roommate was a very nice girl, all the moment made me feel comfortable. We respected each other spaces, she became very close and we learned from each other.
As a student, I was taking classes in two different organizations, International College of Seville and the University of Seville. I felt motivated all the time with the classes, it helped to understand deeper the Spanish culture and I was lucky to have the professors from the program, they are inspirational people. I had a good relationship with them and more than a lecture taught in the class, every class was a lesson of life. The course content was excellent, they made us understand the topics and how it is reflected today. I was privileged to have them as a professor because they showed us the role model in life in their own way and with wonderful personalities. It was very grateful to go to class, I knew that each day going to be different. You have responsibilities as a student, but the program’s structure doesn’t make you feel frustrated or stressed; they make you enjoy while you are learning. I think that is the most effective way to learn and comprehend what is around us.
I really enjoy every second of the program, the time goes fast and you should take advantages to explore. This program is designed to break the comfort zone and don’t be afraid from the first moment. Exploring here means to see your surrounding and get to know more about yourself. I had the opportunity to know new places inside and outside Spain, compare cultures, met new people, understand different perspectives; and experience new things. For me to study abroad helped me take a breath from the routine I had at home, it showed me that we need to do what we love; in our every day, we need to be around people who appreciate and inspire us; and each day counts if we want to work for our goals. Anything is impossible to achieve and for me to study abroad was a goal I had in my life, and know I came true that dream. To resume my experience with few words is almost impossible, I can only define it with to be grateful for our life.