Melinda D. is currently a junior at SYA Spain and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
As our final weeks of study abroad in Zaragoza are winding down, everything we do and see in the city feels, again, in some way, more special and enjoyable then these same things once did at the very beginning of our Spanish escapade: walking down Paseo Independencia, picking up snacks at Mercadona, *insert another usually mundane undertaking here*. Even the simple warm breeze and sunshine–having returned particularly early to the region this year–make it easier for me to be reminded of my arrival.
My peers and I, apart from working on final projects and assignments, are scrambling to make the most of our remaining days in our second home: meeting up with Spanish friends, visiting parts of the city we’ve seen again and again or places we’ve just visited once before, conversing longer at family meals, organizing events and get-togethers outside of school, and more. Last Wednesday, for example, my ceramics instructor, Yanka, held a small potluck style dinner in the studio. There were other students from SYA that I didn’t even know took ceramics. We all ate well and laughed a lot. Last Thursday SYA students and Spanish acquaintances made their way out from the center of the city all the way to a barrio called Miralbueno to passionately cheer on or play in a student organized Americans vs. Spaniards game of fútbol. Not surprisingly, we lost terribly, but it was one of the most humorous and entertaining evenings of the year.
In Spain, I’ve met people, gone to places, and experienced adventures I never want to forget. Of course, it was not without mishaps and challenges, but each has molded me into a more self-aware, mature, and brave person with a global perspective and second tongue. Learning another language also fosters a different ability of cultural understanding. Another world of people to connect with, songs to get stuck in your head, jokes to tell, literature and film, media, and the list goes on and on.
I’m grateful to have my blogs here as a record of my study abroad experience and as a small window to prospective students of what could await them. I’m struggling to wrap my head around how fast these nine months have gone by. The long journey I stood before in September has passed like a sprint and, of course, I wish we had more time.
- Campus Reporters
- SYA Spain