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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: McKenzie in Spain

McKenzie Jordan ’20, who is majoring in Elementary Education and Spanish, is studying in Spain with the Spanish Studies Abroad program in Sevile.

¡Hola! My name is McKenzie Jordan and I’m a junior at Lake Forest College studying elementary education and Spanish. This fall, I am studying abroad in Seville, Spain. I have about a month and a half left in my time abroad, and I can honestly say that I love it here and I never want to leave! At first, there were a lot of adjustments that I had to make. Here in Spain, they eat a lot later than in the US, and they eat a lot of different foods that I had never tried before. This was difficult for me to adjust to, but now I really appreciate the food, and it will be something I’ll miss when I return to the US. Another thing that was difficult for me to adjust to was talking in Spanish all the time. In the US, the only time I really spoke in Spanish was in my Spanish classes. But here I speak it the majority of the time, which was a difficult adjustment for me because for the first few weeks here, by the end of the day, my brain would be worn out from trying to speak Spanish all the time, which would then make me frustrated because I couldn’t think properly. Although I’ve had to make a number of adjustments, I know that they are only part of the process and that it is completely normal to have to make them!

 

Something that I really like about studying in Seville is that it is really easy to travel within Europe. So far, I have gone to Córdoba, Cádiz, Extremadura, and Barcelona in Spain, Portugal and even Morocco! I also will visit London, Paris, and Venice, and I am very excited to do so. I have learned so much about the different cultures in these places, and have learned a lot about myself too. As for academics, I am taking several classes that are taught only in Spanish through the program Spanish Studies Abroad, ranging from a class about Spanish gastronomy to a class about the psychology of learning a second language. As a result of these classes, and staying with my wonderful host family, I have improved my Spanish skills greatly. Studying abroad has taught me so many things so far, and I’m not even done yet! I have learned how to be more independent and how to step out of my comfort zone, as well as make lots of new friends from around the world. Studying abroad in Spain has always been one of my biggest dreams, and I am so thankful that I have been given this opportunity.