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Desiree Yourczek: Sevilla, Spain
What’s your major?
Communications and International Studies
Where are you studying?
How long will you be abroad?
A little over 4 months.
What type of courses are you taking?
Intermediate Spanish II, International Marketing, Spanish Civilization and Culture, Spanish Culture and History through Film and Ecological Systems
What does your program consist of doing?
I take classes four days a week at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide. Although my program is designed for international students, about 10,000 Spanish students are enrolled there.
What is your favorite memory from your study abroad experience?
My favorite memory so far is of the Carnival that takes place in Cadiz, a city on the coast about an hour away from Sevilla. It’s one of the largest Carnivals in Europe and people from all over Spain come to Cadiz to take to the streets. Everyone is dressed in masks and elaborate costumes and the whole city is decorated with lights. I was only there for one night of Carnival, but met so many great people and had a truly once in a lifetime experience.
What would you say to someone considering studying abroad?
Do it! Take some time to think about what country and program is the right one for you, but definitely give it a try. Don’t let anything hold you back. I still have yet to meet a person who regrets studying abroad.
What is your favorite local landmark?
The Alcazar in Sevilla. It’s the old royal castle, which contains structures and art from when the Moors ruled Spain and from the following Spanish royalty. It also has huge gardens and a maze. It’s even still used today by the Spanish monarchy.
What are your living accommodations? I’m living in a home-stay with a roommate from my program. It worked out great, my roommate is my best friend and my señora is like a second mother to me.
What is your greatest challenge while being abroad?
My greatest challenge while being abroad is definitely the language barrier. I’ve taken Spanish courses before and am taking Spanish here, but it’s been very hard for me to get out of my comfort zone and really immerse myself in the language. I’m hoping to change that though.
What skills have you acquired abroad?
My Spanish has definitely improved. I have also become more of an adaptable person and feel like I have the confidence to tackle any kind of situation that presents its self.
Has study abroad influenced your academic/career path?
As an International Studies major, I have always hoped to find a career abroad but my experience here in Spain has definitely reinforced those feelings.
What were questions you were commonly asked by local residents?
“Where is Minnesota?” with a confused look on their face. Spaniards seem to know a lot of the big cities in the United States, but aren’t big on knowing the states, especially the Midwest.