Miguel Aguilar ’10 – Wow it has been almost two months now since I have been here in Valencia,Spain. The first two weeks here I just tried to adapt to their culture as well as what I should expect for the coming months.
I was going to take five courses here but thanks to Liz(coordinator at University of Virginia) I ended up with four courses. A lot of guys from Wabash have asked me if classes were easier while abroad. Well in my case I would have to go with a no, because I took up on the challenge of taking the Valencia program over the Salamanca. I am in a Art history class that is really helping me understand modern art.
The first time I came to Spain in March of 2008, I was really lost at the museums and pretty much just skipped through a lot of important art pieces at Museo del Prado as well as Reina Sophia. I am currently taking two literature courses which go by smooth if you do all the homework and participate in all the classes.
I find it kind of funny how one of my literature professors just looks over to me, expecting me to pretty much lead the class discussions so I have days where I won´t say a thing just so that other people volunteer. The program I am in is for native speakers and people who have been taking Spanish for years, and I have to admit that I was really impressed with some of the people in the program. Their Spanish is as good as a native speakers, with American accent of course.
Since I have been here in Spain I have been able to travel a lot. The first trip we made was to a beach in Peñíscola that was very breathtaking. In case you are wondering where that is, it is in between Valencia and Barcelona. The 2nd trip I made was to Barcelona. We did the usual tourist trip with the exception of going to see the sunrise in the beach of Barcelona.
That trip was a very life changing experience in which we met some amazing Australians that we have kept in touch with. The next trip I made was to Sevilla, España. Its such a beautiful city that has to be seen if you get a chance to come to Spain. The flamenco shows we went to were just amazing, which met my expectations because Flamenco was born in Sevilla. I have also been to Calpe,Alicante (Spain) which had some nice views of the city. We were able to climb this boulder-mountain that took us a few hours but the view were just amazing.
Then we got a 10-day fall break in which I split up between France and Italy. I got to see,face to face, artwork that I have studied in high school as well as college. And two weeks from now we will have a student talent show, in which I will be acting, singing, dancing and maybe reciting poetry. A typical week in spain consists of my four courses,watching a Spanish movie every Monday, play rehearsal on Tuesdays, dance rehearsal on Wednesdays and somewhere in between I managed to squeeze in a translations internship.