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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

Notes from Abroad: Karla in Spain

Karla Zhagui ’19 is a double major in Education and Spanish with a minor in English and is studying at the Spanish Studies Abroad program in Seville, Spain.

Hi! My name is Karla Zhagui and I am spending my fall semester of senior year in Seville, Spain. I am majoring in Education and Spanish and minoring in English. It has been a little over a month since I left home in Chicago to study abroad in Spain. I love everything about Sevilla so far! 

While I have not finished my study abroad experience, I have learned so much about the culture and myself during my first month. The first two weeks were a bit difficult to adjust because of time difference, the meal times, thesiesta and the word vale. Now, I think I am living like a true sevillano- if I say so myself. One of the biggest differences between the United States and Seville is the siesta. Half way through the day, sevillanos go home for an afternoon rest or nap. During this time, the streets are quieter as some shops close until after the siesta. After the siesta, everyone continues on with their day at work or school until dinner time at 9-10 p.m.

So far, I am loving my life abroad! I live in El Centro of Seville so my walk to school consists of walking through Calle Tetuán, the most popular shopping street in Seville. In my classes, I have learned about the history of Spain, the psychology of learning a second language and more, but my absolute favorite class is my dance class because I am learning to dance sevillanas. I have also made great new friends with locals and students from the program, learned things about myself and travelled to beautiful places in Spain, Europe and Africa. I am excited to travel to different places in Europe and continue my journey abroad. Thank you to the donors of the Ingrid H. and George L. Speros award that helped me finance my fall semester. I will always be grateful for this experience of a lifetime.