Monthly Archives: February 2010

Picture update and too much food…

Hey all. I just wanted to let everybody know that I revamped the picture page and now it will be much easier to look at photos I have taken around Spain. It’s nice for me to post all my pictures in one place, but I also hope you all enjoy the photos I’ve taken in this beautiful country. For those perspective students out there, hopefully this will give you a glimpse into what Bates study abroad life can be like. Click on the ‘PICTURES FROM SPAIN‘ tab here or at the top of the page and then click on the links to see pictures from different cities I have visited in Spain.

In other news, I ate a huge dinner tonight. My Señora is really piling on the food, but I mean that in the best way possible. Tonight I had a big tortilla Española (for those you don’t know: a potato/egg patty). When I say this thing was big, I mean, we’re talking frisbee-sized. On top of that, I was served a large salad made up of lettuce, tomato, mozzarella, Spanish olive oil, sea salt, and oregano. As they say in Spain, ¡Qué Delicioso!  Until next time…

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Life in Spain…

Hey all. There’s a lot to fill you in on since my last post so I will just jump right into it…

Last week, I changed from the Advanced Liberal Arts program to the standard Liberal Arts program. The change was not forced, in fact I was discouraged somewhat from making the switch, but I feel it was in my best interests personally and academically. I won’t bore you with the reasons for the change, but I am certainly happy that it is all taken care of now and I can concentrate on my education. My course load is still the same (4 courses) but now I take two ‘cursos extrañeros’ (courses for foreigners) at the University of Sevilla and two classes at the C.I.E.E. study center.

I am taking Contemporary Spanish Film, Contemporary Spanish Literature, Political and Democratic Transition in Spain, and History of Slavery in Latin America. I’ve already begun one book in Spanish, watched several short Spanish films, and learned a lot about the constantly-changing social and political landscape in Spain through the centuries. Even though I’ve only had a few classes I am already enjoying myself and learning a lot. Once I get more settled into this new academic routine I will be sure to fill you in on how everything is progressing.

All is well on the non-academic side of life, too. This past weekend I traveled to Córdoba to visit my girlfriend who is studying abroad in the beautiful Andalusian city. The city is small, but, like many modestly-sized European cities, rich with culture and history. Three highlights from the trip stand out in my mind. First and foremost, getting to see my wonderful girlfriend in the city she currently calls home. Secondly, getting the chance to visit the Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Mezquita. Originally constructed as a mosque in the 8th century, it was later transformed into a catholic cathedral and is simply beautiful (see pictures below). The third and final highlight of the trip was seeing a small child dressed up like batman feeding pigeons out of his hand. Don’t believe I saw it? Check out the picture below!

That’s all for now. Picture page to be updated soon. Until next time… Hasta Luego!

The Mezquita:

Batman takes a break from his noble fight against crime to… feed the pigeons?

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Spanish Graffiti

Hey all. Things are going pretty well in Spain thus far. I made a trip to Madrid this past weekend and am heading to Cordoba on Sunday to see my girlfriend who is studying there. It will be great to see her and should be a very nice visit. I will provide you with a more thorough update of everything in Spain in my next blog, but for now I thought I would share some interesting photos from Spain.

You’ve already seen the historical side of Spain in some of the pictures I’ve posted: Cathedrals, palaces, and monuments, revered for their historical significance and architectural beauty. But there is another side of the art scene in Spain: Graffiti. I find this strange juxtaposition of history and modernity to be really interesting. Some call it street art while others see it as defacement and vandalism. Whatever your view, you can’t deny or ignore it’s place in Spanish society. Check out some of this pictures I snapped in Granada and Sevilla:

Dónde está la llave? Where is the key?

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Sevilla and beyond…

Hey all. Two weeks have passed since I first arrived in Europe and I now feel as though I am settling into a routine. I no longer rely on my map (getting to and from my homestay is not a problem) and if I don’t know exactly where I am, I feel comfortable enough wandering until I find myself on a familiar street. I’ve also fully adjusted to the six hour time difference and have now been sleeping much better than when I first arrived.

There is very little to complain about in this great city, though I must say that the intensive Spanish grammar class I am currently in is a bit of a drag. I’d rather be out speaking to Spaniards in the streets than learning about sentence structure and the like, but I suppose learning the uninspiring grammar techniques will help me down the road. The grammar class is just a minor part of the experience and concludes this Friday so I am making the most of it and trying to absorb as much information as possible in the next few days.

I think my language skills are getting better everyday. Regular conversations with Concha (my Señora) and other Spaniards, classes taught entirely in Spanish, and daily readings of Sevilla’s local newspaper have all helped me to improve my Spanish abilities. I am a long way from fluency, but it seems I am taking steps in the right direction…

This past weekend, the study abroad program (CIEE) sponsored a free trip to Granada which was quite fun. It was nice to get a little change of scenery and Granada is really a beautiful city. We saw the Alhombra which is a huge Moorish palace dating back to the 1300’s. The palace is a mix of Islamic and Christian artistic design and has beautiful views looking out over the entire city of Granada.

I am happy to be back in Sevilla and am looking forward to many adventures ahead. Until next time…Check out some of the pictures I snapped in Granada. Hasta Luego…

View of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range with a palm tree in the forefront:

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