Marzotto ’11 Studying in Rosario, Argentina

Nick Marzotto ’11 – As the leaves turn red, brown, and yellow at Wabash College, I have been experiencing a different atmosphere in the southern hemisphere. I have spent almost a month and half in beautiful Argentina, where the season is Spring rather than Autumn.

I´m studying in the city of Rosario, which to most Rosarinos, is considered the second largest city in Argentina. Rosario lies on the Paraná River, which is the fourteenth longest river in the world. I like to equivalate Rosario to Chicago because of its industry, sports teams, and layout. Rosario has two major soccer teams, Newels Old Boys and Rosario Central, which both compete in the top league in Argentina. Rosario is crucial to Argentina because of its connection to the interior of the continent so many different cultures influence the atmosphere in Rosario.

The culture in Argentina is very interesting because it seems to be a mixture of European, American, and a little flavor of South America. The food in Argentina is incredibly European, which means no spice. Steak and wine is what Argentina is known for and I would definitely have to agree. Another difference that makes Argentina unique is the accent that use while speaking Spanish, it´s Spanish with a major Italian influence.

The school I have been studying at is called the Universidad Nacional de Rosario. The courses that I am enrolled in are Gramatica 4, Conversación 4, Historia, and Topics in Latin American and Argentine Culture. Each class is challenging but gives me an interesting outlook on the history of Argentina and the struggles the nation has endured in its short history.

In the month and half of living in Argentina, I have explored different cities/areas. I have made trips to Salta (which is in the Andes), Buenos Aires (the tenth largest city in the world), as well as Cordóba (third largest city in Argentina). Each area had its on story and atmosphere which was incredible to see and experience.

In a couple weeks, my program is taking a trip to Iguazu Falls which to many is considered one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. It´s the fifth largest waterfall and should be a breathtaking sight. The opportunity to view and experience this diverse and fascinating culture has been a real treat to my liberal arts experience and a true once in a lifetime experience. Wabash Always Fights!

In Photos: Top left, Nick at A waterfall in La Cumbrecita, Rosario from the Parana River. Bottom right, the Barrio La Boca in Buenos Aires.

German ’11: Granada Offers Cultural Mix

Jake German ’11 – This semester I am studying in Granada, located in the southern region of Spain. This territory is known as Andalucía. My program has visited the three main cities of Andalucía: Sevilla, Cordoba, and of course Granada.

Each city demonstrates the influence of eight hundred years of Arabic culture intertwined with the natural beauty of mountainous southern Spain as well as contemporary Christian culture. The Cathedral of Sevilla is the third largest cathedral in the entire world after St. Peter’s in the Vatican and St. Paul’s in London. It can also claim (with some argument) the remains of Christopher Columbus. Seville also has an amazing minaret, which was subsequently converted to a Christian bell tower to stand beside the cathedral.

Cordoba is home to one of the most famous mosques in the entire world. It reflects the dichotomy of Moorish architecture and Christian iconography. After the fall of the Muslim empire in Spain, the mosque was converted to a cathedral; this was a common practice in the fifteenth century during the Reconquista. Red and white stones were used to make the horseshoe arches that still stand today in rows throughout the church.

Granada, my city, is the location of one of the last great Moorish palaces in all of Spain. The Alhambra (the Red in Arabic) is a palace with beautiful gardens inside a great fortress. It contains centuries of different Arabic and Islamic art and architecture, all containing influences from the twenty successive Caliphs who called this magnificent palace home. The palace is located on top of a hill overlooking the city. Granada also boasts the last place in Spain where you receive free tapas with a drink. Tapas are Spanish hors d’oeuvres. Some examples include tuna in a tomato sauce on bread, tortilla Española (potato omelet), quiche sandwich with red peppers, and my personal favorite calamari with a vegetable tomato sauce. Olive oil is used on EVERYTHING here which makes the cuisine healthier.

Being in a town the size of Granada (230,000 inhabitants) gives you the big city experience without the big city hassle. I could walk anywhere in the city; I don’t because they have an efficient public transportation system, but I could do so. Moreover, the monuments to Isabel Católica, the plaza de toros, and the museums around the city are never crowded. Spaniards enjoy the art of conversation, and the cafes and tapas bars provide opportunities for people to talk and enjoy a glass of sherry. All in all, I am having a great time. In two weeks, I will travel across the Mediterranean Sea to Morocco on the coast of the African continent for five days. I can’t wait!

A Month in Perugia Has Gone Fast

Andrew Sparks ’11 – I am still dumbfounded that I have already studied in Perugia for a full month, and it has been a month that I will never forget.

The city of Perugia is nestled in the hills of the region Umbra in the center of Italy. The relatively small population of 100,000 allows for a student to become fully immersed into the life of the historic city. Perugia is well known for its historic architecture, as well as the many cultural events. The city hosts a world renowned Jazz Festival in the month of July, and the Euro Chocolate festival in October. It is commonly known as the “University City” because it is home to three universities that host 40,000 Italian and foreign students.

The nightlife is another unique aspect of the city of Perugia. The heart of the city’s nightlife is the famous Piazza IV Novembre al Tramento. The steps of the city’s Duomo that look over the piazza come alive at 8 o’clock with people socialize and preparing for the nights events. This is a particular favorite spot for the students to meet up before going out to one of the many restaurants or bars in the city. The nights out usually do not start until after 11 because dinner in Italy usually starts around 8:30, and usually lasts for about and hour and a half. This allows for great conversation and a chance to enjoy the delicious Italian cuisine.

Perugia is also home to a class C soccer team, and a class B Rugby team. I had the privilege to practice with the city’s professional rugby team a few weeks ago. This was the first time I ever played rugby, and it didn’t help that the majority of the team spoke only Italian. I eventually got the hang of it, and finished the day with a few tackles as well as some new friends. Playing with the team was an amazing experience, and I will be practicing with them in the future when I have the time.

Umbra University provides a diverse list of courses that have some sort of Italian aspect. My courses include Italian 101, Survey of the Italian Renaissance Art, The Art of Leonardo da Vinci, and the History of the Roman Empire. Each course provides a weekend trip that will allow us to personally observe the material covered in class. This is certain to enhance my understanding of each subject, and will allow me to see artwork and building that I have dreamed about seeing. I am very excited to learn about Italy’s rich history and culture!

I am truly blessed to have the ability to study abroad this semester. I would highly recommend to all Wabash students to take the opportunity to study abroad.


In Photos: Top right, Sparks with other Umbra students visiting Florence. Bottom left, a view of Perugia from Sparks apartment.