Academic Adjustment

Before beginning my courses here in Oviedo, I had no idea what to expect. I wondered if the classes and the style of teaching would be similar to what I experienced in the US at SUNY New Paltz. The courses that I am taking in Spain are Advanced Spanish and a literature/art history module. We begin class at 9:30 am and work until 11:30 am. During this time we work on perfecting our grammar by doing excerieces out loud from packets. Although grammar in Spanish can throw some curve balls (don’t even get me started on the subjunctive tense!), speaking and reading out loud in class is such great practice for perfecting Spanish grammar and speaking skills. There are about twenty other students in the class, mostly from the US like myself. At 11:30 classes pause for a half hour snack break where students arrange afternoon plans over a café con leche and a bocadillo. At 12 classes resume and we continue working on grammar. At 1 pm we switch over to another classroom for the module course, which we had the option of choosing. I decided to take the literature and art history module since there is so much fascinating history and culture of Spain to be learned through the art and literature. During this class we observe, read and discuss various paintings and poems that pertain to whichever author or artist we are studying. Most days we are not assigned homework beyond a small writing assignment and review of class notes from that day. The professors want us to work hard in the classroom but also encourage us to take advantage of time outside of class by exploring and being present within our time here in Spain. Overall, I really enjoy these classes. From my experience the professors are very kind and informative and are very accommodating to international students. I really appreciate how they bring cultural references and vocabulary into the classroom, like incorporating traditional Asturian recipes and festivals into our lessons. I had a lot of apprehension before beginning classes abroad (who doesn’t?), however here is my one piece of advice to anyone considering studying internationally: your professors abroad want to see you grow and succeed. Whether that growth may be in terms of language skills, knowledge, or world experience, your professors abroad want to see you grow from this experience because they know you can. Learning a language by immersion is such a natural way of language acquisition that you’re barely even aware that it’s happening! To think that I struggled my first few days here while simply ordering a coke to being able to hold long conversations with native speakers is truly amazing. In conclusion, I am very grateful to be learning as much as I am both in and out of the classroom. IMG_1113 (1)IMG_1112

I will be studying abroad with the SUNY New Paltz summer program in Oviedo, Spain for the month of July. I am a double major in Communication Disorders and Spanish and the six credits I will earn in Oviedo will count towards my Spanish major. Upon completing study abroad in Spain, I hope to become fully fluent in Spanish, which has been one of my top goals since childhood. My interests include crafting, cooking, yoga and being outdoors.

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