I am now one week into my Spanish year abroad placement and I have got to say that I have been more than amazed by the colour and energy of the Spanish culture! Having only been in Sevilla for one week, I think the fact that I already feel so at ease with the cultural differences goes to show how welcoming people have been.
Sevilla is quite a large city for me as I am from a rural area and go to university in a very small town in the UK. However, it does not feel too daunting for someone like me who does not always find big city life easy to get used to. The way in which I step outside to go to work each morning and am immediately surrounded by the smell of tapas dishes cooking, flamenco dancing in the streets, and beautiful historical buildings has really made me feel like I am joining a real community in which people are brought together by the buzz in the streets. I say this because although I am a solo traveler, I have not yet felt lonely in Sevilla due to the fact that everywhere you go, there are people eating and socializing in the streets, or there is some kind of performance going on to take your mind off of any worries you might have.
As well as the incredible introduction to life in Sevilla, my new work placement has also got off to a very good start. I started on Wednesday and from the moment I walked into the building I immediately felt welcomed by my colleagues to be. I was given a tour of the workplace, shown how everything works, and given a schedule of classes to observe in order to prepare me to become an independent worker. I have even been given my own office for the six months that I am here which is something very exciting and new for me! I am doing an internship in an organisation for adults who need to learn either French, German, English, or Spanish for business purposes. Therefore, each day I have a schedule of appointments with clients during which I teach them to speak and understand English correctly based on their personal needs. I am also being given three private Spanish lessons per week which is a huge help to me as I often need to use Spanish during my appointments and also in everyday life. I have also only been learning Spanish for two years so I find that speaking and expressing myself are very challenging wherever I go. But I can see that this will soon change given the impression I have had of the city and my workplace so far!
After a busy half week at work I then had the weekend to myself. I was initially a bit worried about this as I knew that it would probably be a time during which I would start to think about everything and the homesickness would creep in as I experienced in France from time to time. However, I decided to attend a tour for foreign interns around Sevilla on Saturday morning in order to get to know the city better and to meet other people who are in the same position as me. I am really glad that I attended this as I met lots of young people from all over the world and had a lovely day getting to know them and the city, and enjoying a lovely meal in one of the local tapas bars. Having had a stressful week looking for accommodation, adapting to a new job, and settling into a new lifestyle, this was a much needed day that has made me feel much more relaxed about everything.
So I am pleased to say that my first week in Spain has been a very positive one and I feel that the six months that I am going to spend here will be very fulfilling and enjoyable. I have added a number of photos of my Spanish experience so far to the 'Photos-Sevilla/Andalucia' page of the blog so please do feel free to take a look at these and see in pictures some of the things that I have told you about in this post. I will be back again with more exciting news in about a weeks time!