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8 posts from October 2012


I Will Not Go Back to Bologna

This post is by Anthony Hernandez, a Communication Studies major and Spanish minor at Portland State University. During the 2012-2013 academic year he is participating in the CIEE Language and Society program and the Communications, New Media and Journalism program. 

I do not ever want to eat a bologna sandwich again. In one month, Spain has changed me, taught me what a real sandwich is, and proven to me multiple times that there is a world of sandwiches that I never knew existed. Take a moment to think about the classic American choice, the bologna sandwich. I used to find comfort in the white bread sticking to the roof of my mouth and the happy simplicity of it all. It was the lunch of my elementary school days, and it got me through the hard times of college when I was sick of Top Ramen and needed a cheap alternative. After being in Seville for just over a month now, I can confidently say that my love affair with bologna sandwiches is a thing of the past. Seville has a sandwich culture like none I’ve seen before, and it has stolen my heart and kicked my old sandwich routine to the curb.

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So you took 6 years of Spanish and didn’t learn Spanish until you studied abroad?

This post is by Lauren Hawkins, an International Studies major at Spelman College. During the 2012 fall semester she is participating in the CIEE International Business and Culture program.

One of the first questions I was asked when I arrived in Spain was, “How is your Spanish?” I would reply, “Poco or mal,” when really I should’ve been saying, “Regular or bien.” At a young age my Dad attempted to teach me how to count in Spanish and before I got out of the tub each morning, I had to relay the numbers 1-10 to him. He turned learning Spanish into a game and I remember shouting out, "Uno, dos, tres….," and so on until he picked me up out of the tub. He was trying to build a foundation for me in Spanish and looking back sometimes I wish my language journey would have progressed from there.

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Changing My Mind

This post is by Michael Patterson, a Computer and Information Sciences major at Gustavus Adolphus College. During the 2012-2013 academic year he is participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

I remember values that I used to associate with myself, values that I was proud of and wanted to show off. I used to frequently say certain phrases-”time is money and time is short”, “working hard or hardly working” and “About time”- and these sayings have undoubtedly had some influence on my life. Yet it never occurred to me that these sayings were American and that they reflected American values. Now I’m in Sevilla, and I am experiencing an influx of new and different values. These values are coupled with their own sayings that the Spanish have heard, in one way or another, since they were born. Now both my American values and those of Sevilla are meeting daily, and my own personal culture is evolving to incorporate them. Now I have to find a way to live with both, Sevilla is my life now.

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Being a Vegetarian on a Budget in Andalucía

This post is by Liz Harroun, an International Business major and a Spanish minor student at The University of Texas at Austin. During the fall 2012 semester she is participating in the CIEE Business and Society program.

I wasn’t exactly aware of what I was getting into when I signed up to study abroad in Seville, Spain, the heart of the southern Andalucía. Being that I am vegetarian as well as allergic to seafood, I am used to having a little difficulty in finding an adequate diet while traveling.  However, I had yet to experience such a carnivorous diet before coming here to Southern Spain. In a region where the diet staples are ham and seafood, I could feel my throat begin to swell up just passing by some of the restaurants with animal flesh and dead fish hanging in the windows.  Also, with a budget of about 200 euros a month for food, I was not about to scope out specialty restaurants or health food stores (if they even exist here). I knew that I could not live off white bread and olive oil for four months, so I quickly found ways to get my meals and protein in without contributing to the already excessive consumption of pork here in Seville.

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Un paseo por Sevilla

This post is by Nicole Lobodzinski, a Spanish and Environmental Science major at Wellesley College. During the 2012/2013 academic year she is participating in the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program.

Esta hermosa puesta de sol sobre el Río Guadalquivir ocurrió en unos de mis paseos por la ciudad. Estaba en el Puente de la Barqueta, que parece una espalda curvada. Mi hermana en Sevilla me dijo que si nos fijamos en este puente (Puente del Alamillo) desde el de la foto, se ve un dinosaurio, porque el otro puente parece un cuello que se extiende. Otras personsas me han dicho que no pueden verlo y que es falso, pero me encanta usar mi imagincación, y siempre lo veré de esta manera.


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Home Sweet Home

This post is by Amelia Gómez, a  Global justice major and Psychology and Spanish  minor at Saint Mary's College of California. During the fall 2012 semester she is participating in the CIEE Liberal Arts program.

So before leaving for Spain, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish here and what I knew would be a challenge and how I was going to address those situations.

First off I should say I am the youngest in my family and the closest to my mother. This, as you can guess, was going to be a challenge. Being away for four months seemed like it was going to be a bit much for me, and not being able to see my family, traveling here alone, my first time ever traveling alone mind you, and having to meet and live with a whole new family, strangers, for four months seemed a bit scary to me but I knew it was something I had to do and it was going to be totally worth it.

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Visita al Alcázar

This post is by Emma Poorman, a Sociology major and Spanish minor at The University of Texas at Austin. During the fall 2012 semester she is participating in the CIEE Language and Society program.

Cada semana, CIEE tiene muchas excursiones para los estudiantes. Durante las primeras semanas del programa, mis amigos y yo vistamos el Alcázar. Lonely Planet dice que el Alcázar es el mejor lugar en Sevilla para visitar. Estoy acuerdo, porque me encanta caminar por los jardines del Alcázar cada día después de las clases.

Durante nuestra visita al Alcázar, tuvimos un profesor de CIEE como nuestro guía. Como España tuvo reyes musulmanes en una época y reyes cristianos en otra, él nos mostró los ejemplos de arquitectura musulmana y arquitectura cristiana. Por ejemplo, un califa solo usó yeso, madera y vidrio para construir sus cuartos. Él pensaba que era sacrilegio construir un edificio permanente, porque solo Alá podía hacer cosas permanentes. Y por eso, usó materiales débiles. Pero tenemos suerte porque su trabajo todavía existe.

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Shopping in Sevilla

This post is by Jennifer Nelson, a communications major and Spanish minor at The University of Iowa. During the fall 2012 semester she is participating in the CIEE Communications, New Media and Journalism program.

One of the major things I have noticed about Sevilla is the incredible amount of options for shopping. There are far less chains than there are in the United States. Of course there is Zara, H&M as well as a few other popular outlets, but the more interesting shops are the shops that are owned by small business owners. Although many of these shops sell the same type of thing, they all have a unique quality about them, and something different to offer, whether it is atmosphere, style, or price. 
Through walking the streets of Sevilla, I have come to the conclusion that sevillanos love shoes. On my walk to CIEE alone, I must see fifteen to twenty shoe stores. Many of the stores offer typical shoes for women, such as boots, heels, and flip flops, however they all have a unique feel to them. Many of the smaller stores have high quality shoes for affordable prices, for example, a pair of real leather boots can be found for only 50 Euro. While that is not a small price, by any means, it is far less expensive than they would be in the United States. They seem to really pay attention to quality and detail. 

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