Playfair…Seville Style

I thought I’d never say this, but orientation week was a blast! It was no ordinary Playfair where all the freshman students crowd into the Dow Center and do speed dating and ultimate rock, paper, scissors. This was orientation in Spain! The first night here, our guide, Pedro, led me and eight other students along …

Los primeros días

Hi, everyone! I am thrilled to announce that I have arrived safe and sound in Seville, Spain! It was my first time traveling alone internationally, so I was pretty scared about checking in bags, going through passport security, and finding the right gates. Unfortunately, I had a rough start in the Chicago O’Hare airport; I ended …

¿Dónde empezar?

So much has happened in the past few days that I feel a gallery of photos would better express my excitement for the wonders that I had the privilege of beholding.  The enormous Palacio Real (ironically, the king and queen do not live here), the beautiful and monumental Almudena Cathedral where the current king and …

Love At First Flight

   It felt like love at first flight when I first landed in Madrid.  My first time being outside of the continent of North America gave me unbearable happiness.  I could not help but release some of this joy through expressive eyebrow raising, dramatic gasps, and oh-my-goshes as I watched my dream unfold before me. …

Best of Salamanca

I love Salamanca. As my semester is drawing to a close, I’m reflecting on some of the best memories I have here and why this city is so special. Since I’ve been here around four months, I think I am qualified to give native advice about visiting and living in the city. Here are the …

Semana Santa

The Spain version of spring break is Semana Santa, or Holy Week. We had an 11 day break that ended on Easter, and this is is when students studying abroad take advantage to travel Europe. Luckily, my break coincided with my Hope roommate’s break who is studying abroad in Liverpool, so we traveled the whole …

Life at the Lake: Lago de Sanabria

A few weeks ago I took a trip with a small group of people from IES for a weekend trip to Lago de Sanabria. The lake is one of the largest lakes in Spain (nothing compared to Lake Michigan, though), and we hiked in the mountains surrounding this natural park. As we were driving into …

Getting Involved

I’ve written a lot about my travels away from Salamanca on the weekends, but having a home base in this city is very important for my experience. We were told when we arrived that we have to be careful if we were planning on traveling every weekend because we are here to immerse ourselves specifically …

Portu(girl)

This past week was midterms week, and to boost our morale after a tough week we took a trip to Portugal with IES. On Friday we left early in the morning excited to get away from studying and for a sunny weekend in Portugal. Our first stop was the city of Coimbra, where we visited …

Field Trip to Atapuerca and Burgos

The religion class through IES Salamanca takes a field trip every year to Atapuerca and Burgos, Spain. La Sierra de Atapuerca is an archaeological site that contains some of the earliest human remains in Europe. We have been learning about prehistory and the idea of religion during that time, so the perfect place to visit …