Throughout my time here in Spain I have been comparing and contrasting my study abroad academic experience with my friends’ academic experiences solely out of curiosity. They are all very similar besides one major factor: ALL CLASSES IN SPAIN ARE IN SPANISH! I find it even hard to really grip that phrase even being a Spanish major. At the beginning it was very hard having 4 out of 4 classes being taught all in Spanish, and additionally having to talk in Spanish all the time to professors and others at the school because of the immersion in the language. Day after day I was mentally and physically tired and tried to tune out every bit of Spanish after a certain point that my brain couldn’t take any more. I thought it was hard back at SNC when I had 2 out of 4 classes in Spanish. I do have to say that I can see a major difference in my ability to speak Spanish from the first week to the twelfth week. Also, It is mind boggling, though, that there are some classes here, such as Philosophy that I couldn’t even understand in English, better yet Spanish. I give props to all of those who can be mentally present in that class. Additionally, all signage on walls and the computer itself are in Spanish. At first these changes were all very surprising and drastic, but sooner than later I even changed my own Facebook to Spanish and I am continually learning new Spanish vocabulary. What better way to learn a language than actually being immersed in it day in and day out. I do have to say that the first few days of class, home stay life, and being in public were hard to adapt to, but overtime I have learned and progressed. It has been a steady slope of progression and I am enjoying every minute.
Laura Gordon is studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, with the University of Minnesota.