Investing in Sevilla by Hannah McAdams (Spring 2022 Alumna from John Brown University)

I am not exaggerating when I say that going to Sevilla, Spain in Spring 2022 was the best experience of my life. I know it sounds super dramatic but let me tell you more about why it was such an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.

I lived with three people: my roommate, my host mom, and another roommate that wasn’t a part of the

Monday through Friday I went to school at TCCSevilla (the name of the school), and I only took four classes total. I took Spanish History and Civilization, Spanish Short Stories, Advanced Grammar and Composition, and Spanish Literature II. Daily, I would have one class in the morning for an hour and a half, followed by an hour and a half break, and then another hour and a half class. Everyday just class, break, class, as it was block-scheduling. The classes were really fun too; they were lecture-style, but the teachers are super nice and fun, so even though the classes were long, they were never boring. The break in between was my favorite part of the school day because I would go to La Plaza del Pan to order an empanadilla and a coke. Because I went every day, so I quickly became friends with the owner, Antonio. I ended up trying every flavor that he offered—my favorite was chicharron.

Semester in Spain (SIS) program, but the most important member of our little family was Pelayo, the 10-year-old Brittany Spaniel that acted like he was still a puppy. My host mom, Rocío, was a real estate agent and total fashionista. My roommate and I always called her “boss mom.”

Outside of the classroom, I chose to do an extracurricular which was a once-a-week Sevillian dance class. The dance routine was about five minutes long, and I honestly wanted to quit every practice because I am super uncoordinated which made it difficult to learn, but I pushed through because I wanted to dance in a Spanish plaza in a pretty dress! It was totally worth the pain because we got to dance in two different plazas in front of crowds of people. The crowd was so lively and supportive of us, so it was a really great experience in the end.

As a class, we went on a few weekend trips, and many of my classmates traveled every weekend. Personally, I only traveled one time outside of the class trips because my roommate really wanted me to go with her to Granada. Other than that, I stayed in Sevilla. Sevilla was supposed to be my home for three months, and I really wanted to get to know it the best that I could. I’d often find myself wandering around Sevilla most weekends, but I would always end up at La Torre de Sevilla. La Torre had a big mall right beside it, and inside the mall was an awesome arcade. I became an absolute master at one of the games and I would win constantly. What’s funny is that no one else would ever win the grand prize like I did, and I think that was because the instructions were in English for some reason… No matter how hard I tried explaining the game to the other people, they wouldn’t understand, but I think they were content watching me win thousands of tickets.

While I have many fun memories from the arcade, the most fun I had was when I hung out with my intercambio (my language exchange partner), Abigail. We hit it off and hung out as much as we possibly could. On Saturdays, we would walk around Sevilla doing anything we thought would be fun. On Sundays, we would go to church where Abigail’s dad was the pastor, and yes, you read that correctly: pastor. While the majority of Spaniards are Catholic, Abigail and her parents were Protestant, and they planted a church on the outskirts of Sevilla. It was a little church, but I loved it and the congregation dearly. They all took care of me like I was one of their own, and they even threw me a barbeque going away party. Going to church was also a great opportunity to practice my Spanish because the only other person who spoke English was Abigail; hence, I became an expert at listening to the sermon and talking with the other church members. Another part of the church I loved were the two church cats: Mincha and Missy. Mincha was precious, but she was a super wild kitten when I first met her. Everyone in the church said that I domesticated her because she calmed down significantly after I met her, so I guess now I’m a famous cat whisperer in Spain—ha!

I could keep talking, but I think it would be more fun for you to go make your own memories than hear about mine. Spain is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. You’ll make amazing memories and friendships along the way; I still talk to Abigail often, and she’s planning to come visit me soon! I will say that it can be overwhelming and even shocking to go live in a completely foreign place where almost no one speaks your native language, but don’t let fear hold you back. Follow my lead and just jump in. There’s plenty of people there to help you when you need it.



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