I chose my Global Studies major not only because I love travel and culture, but also because I firmly believe that global competence and cultural diversity are characteristics that can benefit every individual and enterprise. It's a well known fact that social media and globalization have made the world more interconnected than it's ever been, but what do we do with that information and how do we empower cultural differences in a cohesive manner? Questions like these are what drive me to continue learning as much as I can about the world and our place in it. Ultimately, it's what led me to Seville!
Being a Global Studies major means that I need to stay constantly up to date with current world events. Being in Seville this semester has allowed me to observe and experience some of these world events first-hand and learn so much about Spain's unique history. In this moment in time, Catalonia is about to execute an illegal referendum to separate from Spain. This has been popular and highly controversial topic in Spain, which is significant because Spaniards, on average, do not participate in politics or express sentiments of nationalism. In the past few weeks, I have seen Spanish flags appear one by one draped in front of apartment buildings. Some streets seem to be completely covered - which is significant because Spaniards, on average, do not participate in politics or express sentiments of nationalism due to their history with an authoritarian government.*
| Spanish flags hanging in protest against
Catalonia's impending referendum
Beyond Seville's unique political atmosphere, this city has so much to offer for a Global Studies major. A smaller city in comparison to Barcelona, Seville is the perfect environment for those looking to really improve their Spanish. It has been said to me time and time again during my stay here that "If you can understand Sevillan Spanish, you can understand all Spanish". I can attest to this, Sevillanos speak very fast, cut off many of their words, and have a colorful array of local slang. Additionally, being in the south of Spain and not as mainstream as Barcelona or Madrid, many Sevillanos don't speak English which makes for a greater, but worthwhile challenge.
There are so many opportunities to interact with the local culture as there are a wide array of markets, festivals, and activities happening frequently all around the city. A majority of CEA's classes in Seville actually include interactive learning outside the classroom, such as field observation and visits to local businesses and government buildings. This has been invaluable to me as a Global Studies major.
| On a field observation for CEA class
Seville: Culture, Identity, and Citizenship.
| Enjoying the beauty of the local art market
near the Museo de Bellas Artes.
| Taking a tour of the University of Seville and
observing interaction between Spanish students!
Being here in Seville has only reinforced that I am on the right path because I'm doing what I love every day: interacting with a new culture, making connections, improving my language abilities, learning, and of course...eating gelato. Lots of gelato.
Amanda P. is the Fall 2017 MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain. She is currently a Senior studying Global Studies & Communications at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
*The views expressed are the opinions of the writer and do not reflect those of CEA, its students, staff or faculty.
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