A Few Updates

Posted on October 28th, 2011 by

This weekend many people choose to travel because it is the weekend that Spaniards call “el puente” – directly translated as “the bridge” but it just means a long weekend. This Tuesday is “Día de Todos los Santos” or Day of all the Saints and no one has class on that day so what many people do is that they will be absent on Monday and have the whole weekend from Friday to Wednesday to travel. However, I do not have any big plan besides going to an excursion trip with CIEE on Saturday to Córdoba and will be spending the rest of the time studying for my midterms!

Yes my midterms are next week and I am not ready at all, and I blame that partially on the way classes are taught at the university. I feel confident with the classes at CIEE, or at least I know what I will need to be studying because the classes are more organized and we have some sort of material to study from. The university classes are pretty much opposite. I am taking two literature classes at the university, for which I had prepared myself to read a lot but we did not start to have materials to read until last week – the fourth week of school. The majority of the time, professors lecture and we students just listen and from what I am told, we will be tested on everything the professors have taught. It is even hard to take notes in class because I have to listen, in a language that I still do not understand very well, and then sort out what is important and what is not because the professors do not tell us. The good thing is CIEE offers language tutors for all the students and I will be meeting with one of them and have them review everything with me before my mid terms.

One problem that I have been facing here is that I find it hard to meet Spanish people, and that is to say, limit opportunity to practice speaking Spanish. My Spanish is not good enough for me to take classes with other Spanish students so all of my classmates are from the States. My American friends and I try to speak Spanish all the time but sometimes we fail. It is so easy to turn to English and we are kind of on the same level of Spanish, if we make a mistake or find a word that we do not know, the other most likely will not be able to help. My host family is a good source to practice speaking Spanish but somehow I still find it difficult to find a common ground to talk to them. CIEE has a program called “Intercambio” or Interchange that pairs us with a Spanish student so they can help us with our Spanish and we can help them with their English. I however did not have any luck with this at all. My first intercambio smokes a lot so I had to ask for another one but he never replied. I kept asking for a different one but it never worked out until now. I met my fifth intercambio today for the first time, when I only have less than two months left in Sevilla!

Can I really just come up to them and ask if we can be friends?!

My host mom complains to me that I spend too much time with my American friends. I told her that it is hard to meet Spanish people and she told me that they are everywhere! She told me to just go to a bar and pick someone and talk to them! I asked her if it is a strange thing to do to just sit down with a stranger and talk and she said it is absolutely normal here. I told my intercambio the same thing and he laughed not understanding how I cannot just come up to a stranger and say: “Hi! Can we be friends?”



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