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Semester in Spain

Sevilla, the capital of the southern state of Andalucia in Spain, and a city that I was able to live in for five months during the Spring of 2011.  When I started to think about where I wanted to study abroad, I knew that I had always wanted to go to Spain.  For me, picking the country was the easy part, it was picking the city that was going to be a challenge.  Sonoma State Study Abroad program only offered two cities within Spain, Granada and Madrid, and I knew that I did not want to be in a big city like Madrid. The more people I talked to about studying abroad, the more I was told that Sevilla is the city where I should go.  Since Sonoma State Study Abroad program did not offer that city to study in, I decided to go through an outside program called CEA.
Everyday my excitement grew from filling out the paperwork, to receiving my acceptance letter, and applying for a visa.  My dream since I was a young girl was actually coming true, and then the last thing I had to wait for were the details of where I would be living and who I would be living with.
February 1, 2011 came and I was packed and ready for my European adventure to begin, starting with a 24 hour journey from Los Angeles to Sevilla with two layovers, Philadelphia and Madrid.  The plane ride was fine from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, but my fear kicked in once I boarded the flight to Madrid and knew that I would be flying over the Atlantic Ocean for the next nine hours. I woke up right before landing in Madrid at six a.m. and I was welcomed by a beautiful sunrise that included every color of the rainbow.

As the five hours of my lay over passed by, more and more people began to arrive to the Airport and I was starting to get a feel for what the next five months in Spain would be like.  When it was time to board the flight to Sevilla, my plane was filled with students who were studying abroad, most of whom were in my CEA program in Sevilla.
Upon arriving to the tiny airport in Sevilla, we were welcomed by two CEA program directions, Jaime and Aranoa.  Then they transported us to our individual places where we would be staying.  The moment we arrived to the center of town, I knew that I was going to love Sevilla.  From the Orange trees, to the cathedral, to El Torre de Oro, everything about Sevilla was beautiful.  It was then one p.m. when I was dropped off at the apartment where I would be living, and I was greeted by my host mom and dad, Ana and Enrique. I lived in a section of Sevilla called Los Remedios, and I found out once I got there that I would be living with 19 other students.  
The first week in Sevilla, we had orientations for school and CEA at the University of Sevilla where we would be studying.  I had to get used to the nine hour time change,  and siestas became very helpful during that process.  I took five classes while in Spain, all of which were in Spanish.  None of my teachers spoke English, but I was ready to put my Spanish skills to the test.  Over the five months, I didn’t have any problem with communicating in Spanish.
Before I knew it, the five months were over and we were all going our seperate ways.  I knew that saying goodbye was going to be hard, but what I did not know was when I was going to see my roommates or my host parents again.  Our final night together seems like just yesterday, as we all walked to El Torre de Oro to take pictures together for the last time.  As we sat at the edge of the river, we reminisced about life in Sevilla and what life would be like back in the United States. A lot of us had to be at the  airport by six a.m. for our flights home, so we all decided to stay up all night and spend every last minute together until we had to go.
Sevilla had so many great sightseeing attractions including La Catedral De Sevilla, El Alcazar, El Torre De Oro, Plaza De España, and many more. Sevilla also put on great celebrations in the Spring including, La Semana Santa and Feria, two of the most well known festivals celebrated throughout Spain.  I was also fortunate enough to do some traveling to other cities in Spain as well as to other countries including Italy, Austria and Portugal.
Whether I was in class, spending time with my roommates, or living life within Sevilla, I will never forget any of the wonderful memories that I have from studying abroad there.  After five months, I grew as a person and learned so much about myself.  To leave a place you know and understand and decide to live in another country whether for a year or a semester, is not easy.
Though for me, studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life. My roommates became like family, from eating three meals a day together, going to class together and being there for each other every day on our european adventure. My host mom and dad treated us like their own sons and daughters, which made me feel right at home the moment I arrived.  Sevilla is a huge part of me and not only the city, but the people of Sevilla made a huge impact on my life. Sevilla, no te ha dejado. 

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