Rewind to sophomore year where it all started. Where I took the first step and decided to study abroad. Seeming at first as more of a dream than a reality, the endless planning began to take place. With the paperwork finally completed, the countdown began. I lived in this countdown phase for what seemed like forever. Trying desperately to picture myself here, in Seville, I would talk to people who already experienced the wonders of this city. I tried to see things through their eyes. I even tried to get a better sense of where I would be by continuously Googling Seville. Still, with all this preparation I learned quite quickly that although people may be able to put into words what studying abroad is they can’t accurately put into words what studying abroad feels like.
My first days here seem like so long ago. So much so, that I can’t even picture myself not here anymore. That’s how quickly things began to fall into place. Right off the plane, CEA hit the ground running by getting us acquainted with the city as soon as possible. The next few days were filled with orientations, tours of our neighborhoods, and a bike tour that identified the major parts of the city. All this proved helpful and made the transition into a foreign country that much more manageable.
Now five weeks into the program, I feel even more at home in this city. Although the streets, the places, my classes, and the new people I’ve met are all a little more familiar, there are still many things that I encounter daily that are new to me. And that’s what makes this experience so great. I’m never bored, but rather constantly learning. Whether I’m learning what the purpose of Tore del Oro is, or where is the only grocery store in the city I can find peanut butter, Seville continues to surprise me. In addition to discovering new things about Seville, I have come to discover new things about myself. You can’t help but to get to know yourself a little better when you decide to fly yourself across the globe and surround yourself with things you’ve never seen before. It’s only natural. With only of quarter of this experience under my belt I feel like I know more of what my likes, dislikes, and what I ultimately want in life more than I ever did at home.
Not wanting this experience to ever end, I remind myself how lucky I am to be here. Modeling the Spanish way of life, I’m living for today and putting off mañana.
Sara Torres is currently a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is studying abroad in Seville with CEA this Fall 2013 semester.
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