Firstly, I apologize for not having a photo of campus for this blog post, but here’s a photo of where I went this past weekend, Lagos, Portugal! I digress.
This Fall semester I am attending Universidad Pablo de Olavide (UPO), situated on the outskirts of Sevilla. This relatively new, public university has around 11,000 students undergraduate and graduate) and is located on a large campus which was previously farmland. Each morning I walk 15 minutes to get to the metro station, ride the metro for approximately 20 minutes, then walk onto campus. Fortunately, the metro station is located right next to UPO and we don’t have to walk much longer however it takes about an hour to get to school from ‘home’. Upon starting the program, we quickly learned that Spaniards generally walk up to 10 miles a day and use that as their preferred mode of transportation, even commuting a few miles to work. Like most students at UPO, our commute is slightly different to those students attending Universidad de Sevilla, located downtown, who are privileged to walk or ride a bike to school.
At UPO, the students in ISA among other study abroad programs and exchange students all take classes together in a large building near the back of campus. This semester I am taking four courses: Comparative Spanish and American Film (taught in English), Business Spanish (taught in Spanish), Ecological Systems (taught in English), and Hispanic Culture (taught in Spanish). Ideally, I wanted to take all of my courses in Spanish however some classes overlapped and I had to make a few trade offs between classes. So far, they have have been really interesting and applicable to my life in Spain. Specifically, Hispanic Culture has been a huge help with understanding the current politics of Cataluña and their campaign for independence. Additionally, Business Spanish has provided me with a large sum of business vocabulary and practice with interviews conducted in Spanish. Taking a diverse range of courses has been quite refreshing and captivating as I was previously worried about not having been a full time student since April.
Finally, with only one hour and twenty minute long classes, I am done for the weekend by 10:30 in the morning on Thursday, leaving me lots of time to get to the airport if I’m traveling that weekend. My only wish at UPO is that we were more integrated with the Spanish students who attend the university, otherwise, I’m happy my schedule worked out and that my classes are enjoyable. This weekend I look forward to visiting Valencia and eating copious amounts of paella.