Cadiz is an amazing, beautiful and exciting place. It is hard to believe our time here is almost half over. There is a very different feel to daily life in cadiz. There are always people on the streets but there is not the same rapid pace that is felt back in Boston. When I walk thru the plaza by the Cathedral or plaza de San Antonio, de Flores or de Espana you see people everywhere engrossed in conversation and very few people focused on their phones, laptops or electric devices. There is so much to see here, so much history to learn. Venturing out on my own I felt very safe here. I have become lost a couple of times and while trying to read the map people have approached me to help me find my way or were more than happy to offer directions when asked.
I have been in Cadiz for 2 weeks now and I love it. It is such an enchanting place where I feel at home. It is a small city with much to do and see. I love how I could go out anywhere is the city and I feel safe. I mean the locals are out on the streets at 3am just haning out as if was 2 in the afternoon. The lifestyle in Cadiz is very attractive because it is much more relaxed than any other place I have ever been to. The people here do work but they seem much less stressed out and that is something I would like to learn to do.
The food is amazing here! Lots of sea food that is fresh and delicious; and the portions are just right (I love tapas). It is also reasonable in price. I love how I can go out at night and find so many nice places to eat at being such a small city. Like the local market which is my favorite place to go eat at night. It opens in the morning until 5pm then opens back up at 8:30pm and has all these small food places where people gather at to eat and socialize, the food is fresh all the time. At first I was reluctant about coming to a small city because in most small cities like this back in the states, everything closes very early, much certainly the local markets, but not in Cadiz! This makes the stay even much more enjoyable.
I love the resemblance of how the city was built has with my home country. Between the structure of the buidlings and the plazas, it takes me back to when I was growing up in Dominican Rep. This was the first aspect of the city that made me feel like home since I got here. Also, the people are very welcoming and just overall nice! The school is lovely and the teachers are definitely memorable in a very positive way. So far I have enjoyed both my class and the cultural experience here. It is making not want to go back.
20,256 steps, 9.1 miles, 122 floors, 3 cities, and 1 fun group. I never thought wearing a Fitbit all over Spain could be so entertaining. With all the walking here, everyday has been a competition to see how many steps we can take. Today was an exceptionally fun day because we got to see so much more of Spain beyond our lovely city of Cádiz. Our first stop was at Vejer de la Frontera where we definitely gained the most flights up, followed by Baelo Claudia, walking through ancient ruins, and ending with a lovely walk along the Mediterranean sea in Tarifa.
Vejer de la Frontera is a hilltop town sprinkled with churches, convents, and intriguing architecture. We had a lovely tour guide show us unique aspects of the town, from ancient archways to watch posts, where many had kept a look out for pirates.
Baelo Claudia showcased ancient ruins overlooking the Mediterranean sea, a view I will never forget. You can see the Roman influences in the architecture from the basilica to the theater. It wasn’t until this visit that I truly noticed how much of an influence the Romans had on Spanish culture and history.
The group carried on to Tarifa where we were able to explore as we wanted. We had an amazing lunch, did a bit of shopping, and finally were able to dip our toes into the Mediterranean. The color of the sea was like no other, looking out to the coast of Africa, crystal clear. These are the experiences you cannot learn in a textbook.
We live, eat, and breathe Spain. Living in the culture is definitely the best way to learn a new language. I spend my days talking with professors and locals in the language, I eat the food, I walk the streets, and now I even think in Spanish. It is certainly a warming feeling to have everyone around you willing to help you learn as well. The people of Spain are so welcoming and excited to be a part of the learning process. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.
So far I have been in Cadiz for the first 4 days of the second session. This city is very small but if you don’t know where you are going you can get lost easily and end up along the ocean but miles from where you need to be. This was my experience on the first day when I arrived in Cadiz. I spent many hours looking for the university and then getting lost. Although Cadiz I much more than that it is a very pretty city with a very lively culture and the people are very kind. The classes are very accommodating to all students and ability levels and I have not felt rushed or overwhelmed by my teachers. During the first day of classes I was given a tour of the city. This included La Plaza de San Antonio, La Plaza de Mina, La Plaza De Las Flores, and many other places this tour showed me how diverse and culturally significant this city is and how the style of the city varies every few blocks. During my second day I learned about the history of the Spanish languages. It interested me a lot how the different languages were all contained into their own perspective regions. Another very interesting part was that some of the oldest languages in Spain have no known roots. I have also seen the el Museo de La Catedral, La Catedral, and El Torre de Reloj. These places were so fascinating and each had its own unique parts. All of the catholic artifacts and pristinely created pieces were amazing to see on display in El Museo de La Catedral. The most impressive part of La Catedral was that each chapel had its own distinct characteristics and they were so intricately designed. It was fun to take pictures and see the city from above when we climbed to the top of El Torre de Reloj. Also while we were up in the tower we the bells ring. Although it was very loud the experience of being in a bell tower when the bells rang was a very unique one. I learned about the history of the flamenco and how the flamenco is different from the flamenco in other Spanish cities. The flamenco of Cadiz has a different rythmn to reflect the passion and attitudes of the people of Cadiz. It also has a unique sound with parts originating from Arab music. I learned the history of Spain and its long history of inhabitance and discrimination of religious groups. The interesting part to me is how the majority religion of Spain has changed multiple times in its history and now the cultures can mix well together with all religions.
Reside in the most ancient city still standing in western Europe. Through living with a local family (homestay), attending class, and taking advantage of the University of Cádiz resources students can expect to increase their language skills substantially. To enhance the experience, students will have the opportunity to travel to local cities for day trips/overnights, learn cooking of local recipes through a class, view emblematic monuments on a boat tour to a local winery, guided tours through local museums, observing the traditions of the Foundation Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, participating in Flamenco Seminar/workshops, and much, much more.
In addition, all students will receive a pre-departure and on-site orientation including a walking tour of the area.
Complete 1-4 semesters of Spanish language plus one special topics Spanish elective for a total of up to 15 credits in 3-6 weeks during the summer in Cadiz, Spain. Professor Maria Matz will assist you throughout the program on-site.