This blog is updated weekly. Scroll to read entries from previous weeks.
Hello again Spartans,
I have now been in Spain for about a week, and I have been loving my time here!
On my way here, I took a group flight that UNCG made available to me with a large group of my fellow classmates. It was so nice to see other Spartans wearing UNCG swag at the airport and meet up with them – especially for my first ever flight! Because we had three flights together – one being overnight – I definitely think that caused me to get closer to them.
When we all first arrived in Spain, we all had similar reactions to finally being in Spain together!
“¡Qué maravilloso!” said Diana Moreno-Herrera.
“I was overwhelmed and stunned by the beauty in the chaos of travel,” said Kristin Hogan.
“It was the most surreal experience in my life,” said Carter Schenck.
And I agree!
The first thing we did when we arrived in Spain was meet our host families. I am staying with another UNCG student and a family of three in an apartment beside the beach. I was so excited to see that I had rooftop access and that I could see the entire city, including the beach, my school, and many different tourist attractions.
The next day, we started classes. We all met in the Plaza de San Antonio, a city square lined with trees, coffee shops, and plenty of benches to relax on. I have classes Monday through Thursday from 9:30 to 11:00 and 11:45-1:15, and on the weekends ,we take trips to cultural and historical places in Cadiz.
The UNCG spirit has definitely followed us to Spain. Myself and the other students proudly wear our UNCG swag everywhere we go, and we all do our best to support and help each other when we need it.
So far we have visited the Torre Tavira, the Museum of Spain, and learned a little about the dance of Flamenco. From what I have learned so far, Cadiz is known as the oldest city in Europe, and it is located on the Iberian Peninsula. The Museum of Spain had many artifacts from the early ages of Spain. Through the artifacts of the people that have previously lived here, we were able to take a trip through time and see how Spain has been impacted through Phonecian, Roman, Arab, Catholic, and modern cultures.
You can see all of the city from the top of the Torre Tavira, which Professor Sotomayor says is the Cadiz equivalent to the Empire State building. From there, I could see so many details about the city, and we got to visit the camera obscura, which works like a live camera. During the tour we also received a brief history lesson about why Cadiz needed so many watchtowers and the history of watchtower evolution.
Finally this week, we had our Flamenco workshop. Flamenco is a cultural dance of Spain that uses voice, clapping, guitar, drums, and stomping to dance. It is very popular across Spain, especially in Cadiz. This dance is an art form that dates back to around Siglo 20, but it is a very old tradition.
My favorite place has been Torre Tavira because I love to see pretty views, like the one at the top of the tower. It was very interesting to use the camera obscura and see people moving around us in real time.
What do I do to relax after classes? I go to the beach! My favorite place is the beach, La Caleta, which is right next to my host family’s house. To all of my fellow Spartans: Imagine working hard in school and leaving your classroom to realize that you are in an entirely different country and that the beach is only a five-minute walk away! La Caleta also connects to the Castillo de San Sebastián, an old and historical fortress.
I will say that my Spanish is continually getting better because every time I want to interact with someone that isn’t from UNCG, including my host family, I have to speak in Spanish. Sometimes it gets to be a little difficult, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because now I know that I am truly immersed in the language and culture.
This weekend, we will be visiting a centuries-old bodega, the Castillo de Santa Catalina, and visiting the city of Seville. Please continue to follow my journey on Instagram and let me know any questions that you might have!
My name is Dana Broadus and I am a junior here at UNCG. I am currently an English major with minors in Spanish and anthropology. On campus, I intern as a writer for University Communications, I’m a Spartan Guide, and I’m the head officer of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Club. I am hoping that my studies will help me become a cultural anthropologist and a better author.
But first, I am here to walk you through my study abroad experience at UNCG.
Over the next few weeks, I will be studying abroad in Cadíz, Spain as part of a faculty-led program under the direction of Dr. Carmen Sotomayor and Professor Jose Felipe Troncoso in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. During my time abroad, I will be taking SPA 313 (Views of the Hispanic World Through Intermediate Conversation Abroad) and SPA 332 (Foundations in Spanish Cultures, Literatures and Films).
I have always been interested in the concept of travel, and even with my limited experience, I am in love with the idea of learning languages and other cultures. I strive to be someone that can understand and connect with people from all walks of life, and my trip to Spain feels like the first step towards achieving my goal of connecting with people on an international level.
I am considering this trip to be my first “experience of a lifetime,” and I am very excited to be sharing it with my Spartan family. Why is this experience so special to me? I am 20 years old and I have never been on an airplane, let alone left the country. This trip has been the driving factor for me to get my passport and explore my options with studying abroad.
Coming to college, I previously heard of people studying abroad, but I had no idea how extensive UNCG’s study abroad programs were. Since being at UNCG, I have connected with the International Programs Center (IPC) and the Lloyd International Honors College to learn about my options and seek support, attended educational events hosted by the Office of Intercultural Engagement, and talked to several Gilman and Fulbright Scholars who have advised me: “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes – go study abroad!”
Through IPC’s events and workshops geared towards students interested in studying abroad and seeking scholarships to study abroad, UNCG made it easy. My biggest takeaway is that anyone can study abroad. IPC has study abroad programs for every major, and it was encouraging to have support no matter what worries I have about going abroad.
While I am abroad, I hope to accomplish a greater understanding of the Spanish language and culture. When I received my travel itinerary, I was delighted to see that my entire time would not be spent studying. While I will be having class Monday through Thursday during the day, my itinerary also includes things like surfing class, paella cooking classes, flamenco and salsa lessons, Spanish exchanges with Spanish students, and trips to other Spanish cities like Granada and Seville. Be sure to follow along as I update this blog every Friday on UNCG News and follow my adventures on UNCG’s Instagram account!