Hola! Last weekend I took a trip to Bilbao, the capital of País Vasco (Basque Country) in the north of Spain, and returned in time for the beginning of classes for the July session. This round I’m taking a course on Spanish history through film and one on Spanish culture. Tomorrow I’m taking an exciting day trip to El Palacio Real in Madrid—there’s still much more to see even without traveling outside the region of Spain I’m living in!
With all of the time I’ve spent in Spain this summer, I can easily imagine myself becoming a long-term or possibly even permanent resident. While I would love to return sometime during my undergraduate career, I would also be excited to apply to a Spanish university for grad school. There are many excellent institutions throughout the country, but the one that most reality comes to mind is the University of Salamanca, which has strong programs in the humanities and would be a promising place to continue my educational journey. Even if I don’t end up coming back to Spain as a student, I would be more than willing to consider working here after I complete my graduate studies. As my ultimate goal is to teach at a university as a professor of English literature the “complete my studies” part might take a while, but if and when I finish I would be excited to apply for teaching positions at Spanish universities. Regardless of whether I would be residing in Spain as a student or a professor, I would be thrilled to continue deepening my knowledge of Spanish culture and building friendships with Spaniards.
Bilbao is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to, and was a significant change from Alcalá in terms of of climate (very similar to Pittsburgh), topography (mountainous), architecture (a mix of experimental modern and traditional Basque), and even language (both Spanish and Euskera—the traditional tongue of País Vasco unrelated to any other european language—are spoken in the city). Today ‘s top picture is a vista of the Bilbao from el mirador de Artxanda (the lookout of Artxanda) which I visited by way of the charming funicular de Artxanda. Because one week was simply too long to go without posting a sculpture-related picture, I have a version of Bird in Space (there are several in the series distributed across a variety of museums) I found in the Guggenheim on the bottom. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing others of Constantin Brâncuși’s enigmatic “birds” so it was a pleasant surprise finding this one, almost like happening on friend unexpectedly.