Hi everyone! After completing my first week of the Pitt in Spain Summer 2022 Program at la Universidad de Alcalá, I’m back with another blog post! I arrived in Madrid, Spain on the 11th of May, giving myself about three weeks to adjust to being abroad before starting classes on June 6th. In my time in Madrid and throughout my first week of classes in Alcalá de Henares, I have begun to solidify and work on my goals for this experience. Professionally, I can already feel my proficiency in spoken Spanish increasing. Whether it’s making small talk with a Cabify driver or ordering at a restaurant, I am constantly practicing speaking Spanish and I could not be more grateful for this truly immersive experience. I hope that by the end of this program I will be confidently at a level of working proficiency, where I can interact effectively in a workplace with native Spanish speakers.
Academically speaking, this month I am taking two courses for Pitt credit. In the morning, I attend Phonetics and Oral Spanish class, where we learn the basics of phonetics, practice pronunciation, and learn about the different regional variations of spoken Spanish. In the afternoon, I am taking a class called Contemporary Spain through Film, where we learn about the history of Spain through analysis of movies in Spanish. So far, we have watched La lengua de las mariposas and Tierra y Libertad. The first was about a young boy attending school in the Second Republic of Spain and living through the fascist coup of General Franco. The second film was about the internal issues within the forces fighting for the Republic during the Spanish Civil War. In July, I will be taking two more classes called Medical Spanish and Hispanic Civilizations. In addition to counting towards my minor in Hispanic Language & Culture at Pitt, I hope this coursework will help me be a more globally and culturally aware member of the Pitt community.
Personally, I am so excited to continue meeting so many new people from around the world. I have already met so many new people from Pitt that are also participating in the Pitt in Spain program, as well as people from Spain, the Czech Republic, Serbia, England, Germany, and many other cool countries! Through continuing to immerse myself in the language and culture, I hope to complete these goals and make the most of this amazing experience!