Upon arrival in the city of Seville, I was unaware of all of the differences that I would be immersed in. It seemed that I had been surrounded by a whole new world, and from that point forward I knew how much my knowledge of the Spanish language and culture would be enriched.
The process of absorbing information and learning in a different country is truly one that can only be understood by those who have had the opportunity to go abroad. How one grows while spending time studying in a foreign country truly shapes their life; and learning becomes something that happens in phases. While studying at the University of Seville, I had taken courses in Spanish Business, Introduction to Translation and Phonetics and Phonology of the Spanish language. New concepts and vocabulary were being introduced to me in the Spanish language, and because of their technicality I did not know the English translation, but I could still understand them profoundly. It was almost as if I had began school for the first time all over again. Phonetics and Phonology expanded my knowledge of the inner mechanisms of Spanish linguistics, all the while I was learning more Spanish
Making connections and being social is, in fact, crucial while studying abroad. Had I not made new friendships with intercambios, gone out for tapas, celebrated feria, or seen things such as El Alcazár and La Plaza de España, I never would have developed the cultural understanding that I carry with me today. I now fully understand the Spanish culture and lifestyle.
Creating these memories and learning such important things is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I continue to be so thankful for this opportunity. I have gained a new level of fluency and a new reservoir of memories, and I learned the most I ever had while studying abroad.
– Alex Bakke