I’m trying to think of the best way to start off my official blog of the semester. Something witty? Something thought-provoking and “MIND. BLOWN”-inducing? Or maybe just a boring old, “Hey, I’m going to Spain, here’s my blog!”
All of the above, maybe?
My name is Emily (but if you’re reading this because I posted about it on Facebook, you already know that). I am a junior at the University of Iowa, majoring studying journalism, writing, and Spanish. If you read my About Me page, you are waaay ahead of the game at this point. If you haven’t, take a look!
Even before I was officially a Hawkeye, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I want to see the world and experience life outside of my little bubble of small town, Iowa. I don’t want to be a 150-year-old woman (it could happen) lying on my death bed with that heavy regret of not trying to see as much of the world (and probably Mars, at that point) as possible.
So I might as well start young, while I’m still in college and am able to take out ridiculous amounts of loans to do it, right?
On September 1st, I will be heading to Sevilla (seh-vee-yah in Spanish, or seh-ville for you English-speaking-types), Spain to study journalism and work on my mediocre Spanish skills. At this point, about a week away from my departure, I am absolutely, positively terrified. I am also undoubtedly, ridiculously thrilled about the fact that I am spending about 5 months abroad, away from Iowa and away from the United States all together, living a completely different life. It’s like riding a roller coaster of feelings. Sometimes it’ll hit me while I’m sitting at home playing video games, “Hey. I’m not going to be here in a week,” and then I don’t know what to feel. So I just continue on with my video games because that’s how I deal with my problems these days.
As far as I know, I will be home-staying with a family in Sevilla, and taking courses through the study abroad program CIEE. I will be studying my Spanish, but I also get the opportunity to take journalism classes, such as reporting and writing, a podcast class, a digital culture class, etc. That means I’m not setting myself back a semester with regards to graduating “on time” (what is “on time” anyway?). It also means, due to the invasive nature of journalism, that I will get down with the nitty-gritty of Sevilla, learning all about the city, its people, and its culture. I think taking journalism courses is the perfect way to learn about where you’re living. It gives you a reason (
forces you) to talk to people and learn their story. I’m sure there are other majors and other ways of doing this, but journalism and writing is what I’m good at, and I like it.
This blog is basically a journal of sorts, for both me and whoever happens to be reading this (hi mom). I would like to document my everyday life, what I’m doing at school, all of my pictures so I don’t drown my Facebook friends with them, and also share everything with people who might be interested in what I’m doing, or where I’m going. As I’ve learned in journalism: put it on the internet. It might be resume material later on.
Now that the awkward first post is over, I can continue freaking out and playing video games until my time has come to board the plane and head off to the unknown. My hope for this semester is to experience as much as possible in the little time—14+ weeks—that I have, and to learn how to speak somewhat fluently in Spanish. What I am told, by the many many people who have gone through this study abroad process, is that it is a bumpy road but it’s totally worth it. I’ll let you guys know the outcome, and everything in between.