The second of August, we had our final. I am also glad to say that I am pleased with my performance on the exam. Though we won’t know our scores until the following day, I think

A piece of art found along side the beach La Caleta.

about all the information that I have been able to recall and the way that my knowledge of the Spanish language has grown. I cannot help but think of how satisfied I am with this experience and how it has helped me to become more understanding of yet another cultural. I made so many friends here in Cadiz; those who will remain solely in my memories and others who’s contact information I have taken down. During the trip, I have spoken all four of my languages within the city’s boundaries, I have stepped out of my comfort zone to butcher a foreign language, and I have allowed myself to harvest the full potential of the experience.


I took enough photos to fill an album, I shopped enough to start a new wardrobe, and I learnt enough Spanish to establish a momentum towards fluency. Three weeks do go by quickly.

I remember at the very beginning, arriving and meeting our host families. Then the following day, going to school and meeting our professors. At that time, I had so much trouble understanding them and now I’ve grown so accustomed to their accents. And of course, all

Making tapas.

of our excursions and activities, from the tours, to the towers, over to ancient roman ruins, wine tastings, and then to the kitchen to learn how to make tapas. Being a part of the additional class led to a higher level of cultural immersion. On top of the surrounding atmosphere, we touched upon the history of Spain and the way that this history has helped to form what is now contemporary Spain. Topics such as politics, economics, arts, culinary, and the environment.


Due to a background in economic studies, it was the state of the economy that intrigued me the most. In fact, the subject surrounding unemployment and its current results is was I find the most interesting of all. The unemployment rate is 18% but much higher for individuals under the age of 30. By having public and affordable schooling, many young adults prolong their studies. Unfortunately, even with advanced degrees, it is still very difficult for them to find jobs. This then forces these young adults to either accept underemployment or to seek employment in a fellow EU country. This is a very big issue that Spain is having now. A topic that I will try to challenge in a research paper that I will be writing, focusing on the economical state of Spain, both in the past and present.

A sight from the Cathedral tower.


I wish I had more time to spend here; the last thing I want right now is to leave. Three weeks is an odd amount of time. It is too long to be considered just a vacation but then too short to get comfortable. By the time that I am entirely confident that I can effectively communicate with a Spanish speaker from the street, I am two days away from getting on a plane and flying over to France; a country who’s language I have forgotten trying to learn Spanish.

If I could change any part of this trip, the entirety of it, including France, I would have extended the dates a little bit more so that I could incorporate other destinations and turn it into a small tour. I really wanted to visit Barcelona, and possibly Madrid, among other European countries.

I think I might be addicted to traveling. No experience is like the next and I would like nothing more than to spend the rest of my days experiencing life.

Halfway Home

Today, we finished our second week of our classes at the University of Cadiz. Divided amongst various classes, those in my class, along with myself, have learned many tenses essential towards establishing the foundation for a future of fluency in Spanish. Our two wonderful professors, Almu and Albierto, have taught us the past, future, and conditional, answering any questions we may have, with patience. Throughout the past two weeks, many of us students have seen an increase with our confidence in the Spanish language and look forward to continuing our education after the program comes to an end.

Aside from the language, I have also learned a lot about the culture and history of Spain, and it’s current state. During this study abroad program, I opted into an option third class, focusing on these topics specifically. Although, I have gained a far better understanding of these by also being aware of my environment and engaging in conversations about these matters with my professors, and some of the locals. For example, one thing that took me by surprise was learning that Spain’s unemployment rate is approximately at 18%, a figure that is very high. Though incredibly high, the unemployment rate is far better than the 30% that it once was in the recent past. Not only does my textbook cover this topic, and discussion regarding to it occasionally appears in class, it is also present in public. There are many times that I am approached by a stranger asking for money. It is quite sad how frequently it happens and to know how hard it must be for them to find work. Other times, I will witness street performances, showcasing talent or offering some form of entertainment or service for donations. Here is a photo of a headless man, sitting out in public, trying to make a living through such entertainment:

Some great ways that have helped immerse us into the culture are the many excursions we have been on so far. Within the province of Cadiz, we took a journey to Baelo Claudia, which is an ancient Roman archaeological site, containing Roman remains from the period when Spain was a part of the Roman Empire. To better grasp an understanding of many of the topics, they are researched and presented on by the students of the additional class. A classmate, by the name of Phil, and I gave the presentation on Spain in the Roman times. Below is a photo of the ruins.

Earlier in the week, we all took a cooking class to learn how to make tapas. And yesterday, we took a ferry to the Port of Santa Maria and partook in wine tasting and sightseeing.








Among the various activities, I have noticed some – I do not want to refer to them as culture shocks – differences. (I, personally, find myself to be very free spirited and openminded that the differences I experience here, in comparison to the United States and England, are no less stunning than seeing the odd things that people back home do.) Anyways, I think one of the two big differences for me are the hours in which the Spaniards eat their meals, for instance dinner is eaten after 21:00, and the permittance of toplessness at the beaches. Another interesting occurrence is the presence of young children at the park across the street after midnight/one in the morning. The community here is interestingly enough: liberal, diverse, and, for the most part, safe.

One experience I really enjoyed since being here, was being at the bar one night and having a woman approach me, speaking English. First, she assured me that she was not trying to sell me anything, and then began to tell me that she was, at that time, working. Her job was to conduct a meet-and-greet situation at the establishment. She was handing out stickers of different flags from different countries. The purpose was to wear the flags of all the languages you spoke and to walk around meeting new people interested in learning or helping teach the language. It was quite a nice activity to partake in because not only did I get the chance to practice my Spanish, but I also got the opportunity to practice my French, and help someone with their English – all in one night.

With so much accomplished in just two weeks, I cannot wait to see what next week has to offer.