Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Everything Really Does Happen For A Reason-How A Rocky Start Led To The Most Incredible Adventure!

Last Saturday was a day that could be described as sad, depressing, happy, exciting,emotional, and rewarding. This is because it marked the end of my semester in Spain, the end of my third year of university, and the day I would be going home to see my family after six months. And as those of you who read my blog regularly will know, the past six months have not always been easy due to the fact that my original Spanish work placement fell through back in January after just three weeks due to financial problems within the company. For this reason I went back to my university in Wales for two weeks where I searched for another work placement with the help of my lecturers. It was a very stressful time as I was at risk of having to lose my Erasmus grant or going back into second year if it took a very long time to find something. As a result of the stress and anxiety that I felt following the termination of my contract and my degree being in a very bad situation, I was in no way in the mood to go back to Spain when I was offered another job. It was strange because I was relieved to have something organised for the semester as I would be able to carry on with my third year as planned but having had a confidence knock, I felt very negative and almost at the point where I really didn't want to continue with my year abroad. However, as these six months in Spain form a compulsory part of my degree, I had no choice but to go back to Sevilla and start this new work placement.

The good news is that now that I am at the end of this placement, I am so so so happy that I went back. I am sure that my time at the language academy would have been fantastic and very rewarding but I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work at Roommates Sevilla for the remaining five months of the semester. Although I went through a lot of stress at the beginning of the semester, I am glad that I did because I could not have asked for better than what I got from my second internship. I worked with incredible people all of whom are Spanish, learnt a huge amount of Spanish, and gained some very interesting and rewarding work experience in a Housing Agency which is something different from what most 21 year olds have on their CVs.  I also got to travel to numerous places both in and out of Spain which was very exciting. In fact, I have made a list of all of the places that I visited during the second semester of my third year at the end of this post so that you can see just how many places this placement took me to. Anyway, I will get back to talking about the travelling later. For now I am going to tell you about my last week in Sevilla as it was a very special week that I will never forget.

Having been at the point where I could not imagine ever finishing a placement in Sevilla just a few months ago, I really did feel quite emotional when I sent all of my Erasmus documents to my university to terminate the semester. As well as working all week as normal, I made sure that I spent time with all of the friends that I made whilst I was in Sevilla. I therefore went out to meet people four out of five of the evenings that week which was lovely! I was actually enjoying myself so much that I hardly got any sleep all week (but I am catching up on that now!). The most emotional day was definitely Friday because it was my last day at work and the day that I had to say goodbye to my work colleagues who made my time in Sevilla so special from the day I started my second placement to the end. It was a very busy day at work but as soon as it came to the last hour before closing time I started to feel a lump forming in my throat and tears welling in my eyes. And as you can probably imagine, as soon as the office was shut it really hit me that I was leaving and the tears did come very quickly. It was a lovely end to my time at Roommates Sevilla because we all went out for lunch together to a tapas bar in a beautiful square. My colleagues also gave me a lovely present which I will treasure forever as it will always remind me of them and the days that I spent working in the office. Once we had all said our goodbyes and gone our separate ways, I decided to go for a walk along the river as I had done everyday for six months before braving finishing off the packing that was awaiting me in my room.

On Saturday when the plane took off from Sevilla, I reflected on everything I learnt during my time in there and thought about each and every one of the incredible people that helped to make what proved to be a roller coaster of a semester the most memorable and enjoyable experience I think I have ever had. I miss everyone there and the city itself an awful lot but I am absolutely certain that I will go back to visit before Christmas. However, in the meantime I am making sure that I look back on the time that I spent in Sevilla very fondly as it was a time in which I really grew as a person and had experiences such as visiting Morocco, getting drunk for the first time, and going to La Feria de Sevilla that I will never ever forget. I also came to realize that the moto 'everything happens for a reason' is not a bad one to adopt as I went from being in just about the worst position that year abroad students can find themselves in to the very best that I could ever have hoped for and that makes me think that maybe everything that happened to me did happen for a reason. In the end, I made lifelong friends in both the Language Academy where I started and in the Roommates Sevilla office which I cannot be more thankful for.

So there you go! The end of another wonderful adventure! However, I am telling myself that it is not the end as I am very strongly considering going back there to work in the future. But I need to get through the rest of my degree before I do that :) You are probably now thinking that this is where my blog is going to end but I am pleased to inform you that there is more to come as I still have one more placement to do! Although I have finished the compulsory part of my year abroad, I have been offered a teaching internship in a summer school in Cannes where I am going to teach French for five weeks so that is very exciting! It will be a chance to get my French back after six months of speaking Spanish as well as continuing my travels abroad. So please do keep following my blog for the next two months as there are still many more adventures to come. But for now, please feel free to take a look at the 'Photos-Sevilla/Andalucia' page to see some photos of my last few days in Sevilla as well as any others that I have previously missed out.

So for now I am going to say hasta luego to my life in Sevilla but I will be back in about a weeks time to start telling you all about my third placement in France!

A bientot! :)

Cities that I visited during the semester:

1. Sevilla (Spain)
2. Cadiz (Spain)
3. Cordoba (Spain)
4. Granada (Spain)
5. Rhonda (Spain)
6. Gibraltar
7. Jerez de la Frontera (Spain)
8. Santiponce (Spain)
9. Madrid (Spain)
10. Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
11. Faro (Portugal)
12. Montequinto (Spain)
13. Bologna (Italy)
14. Venice (Italy)
15. Chefchouen (Morocco)
16. Tangier (Morocco)
17. Tetouan (Morocco)

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