My summer in Cadiz was the best thing I have ever experienced!! The city itself was the perfect place for me. It was small enough that I could safely walk everywhere and become familiar with the city, it had beautiful beaches and weather, and most of all had a small home town atmosphere. It was filled strong, passionate people who were friendly and ready to help you at a moments notice. The summer nights were a time for friends and family to spend time together and have fun. Being so close to the coast, Cadiz had amazing seafood! Though it is located in the very Southern part of Spain, it was not hard to travel throughout the country, and even to other surrounding countries. My typical day included morning classes, afternoons on the beach, La Caleta, evenings having dinner with my host family, then getting gelato at Plaza Mina or going to a bar and watching the futbol game with friends. Especially in the summer, the weekends always busy with festivals or celebrations that really added to the cultural experience. There is always something to do, I explored museums and discovered the diverse history of Spain, climbed the Torre Tavira to see a spectacular view of Cadiz, walk through the Plazas and shop, and go dancing at night!
I could not have studied abroad without the support of API, who's staff was as excited as I was about traveling , and helped me step by step from America to Spain. My program coordinator in Spain became my mentor and friend, and went out of her way to make sure that my group had the best experience possible. She also only spoke Spanish to us, which made the transition to my host family easier.
The program coordinator there had a close relationship with my host family, and knew that the family would be welcoming and helpful during my time there. I felt included in all family activities and felt that they really enjoyed the company! Staying with a host family really accelerated my knowledge of the Spanish language and culture.
The teachers at the University of Cadiz also contributed to my language skills. Taking language classes in a fun and relaxed environment helped me retain important grammatical information and use it in real life situations. The teachers there were relatable and understanding, and I felt comfortable taking risks in speaking out loud in class.
This experience is something I will always remember, and has made me become more of myself, now that I have a piece of Cadiz in me always.