The first day went by pretty fast. I met up with University of Hawaii students and some students from other states who are going to International College of Seville. We wandered around the neighborhood and discovered it as much as possible. It was really cozy and neat. Everything is close to each other. There are so many hidden tapas places and bars that look good. Also, some of us signed up for a gym membership. Later that day, my roommate Keao arrived at the house. Because Keao speaks an intermediate level of Spanish, he helped me out with things that I wanted to talk to the host family.
I was going to talk about activities that we did for the first week but I’m not even sure if I will be able to cover everything because we did so many things that ICS prepared for us. In one of our meetings at University of Hawaii, it was mentioned that ICS arranges activities like city tours for students to buffer culture shocking. Now I looked back at the first week, it went really smoothly without thinking about being alone or bored. I’m already used to living in the neighborhood and already know where to go to catch the bus, buy things, eat tapas.
Because I arrived at late night at my host house, my host family and I just exchanged names briefly. Because my Spanish is very limited, I needed to hold my phone to use Google Translator during the entire conversation, but I knew they were welcoming me for sure, and my job for next 4 months is to learn Spanish to be able to communicate with the host family and people in Spain. I also believe that it’s not fair for me to expect Spanish people to speak English because I’m a visitor not they are. Furthermore, the given situation with the language barrier in the host family will push me harder to learn Spanish.
In the next day, because I arrived one day before the official arriving day, I had a lot of free time to look around the neighborhood. The neighborhood is called Porvenir. It felt somewhat different from France, Germany, and the UK. There’s a funny story about when I was leaving the house. I’m not sure if other houses are same, but to leave the house, I had to use a key to open the door from inside. A little technique was required to open but obviously, I was not used to it, I was “stuck” inside of the house for 10 minutes and people passing by the house looked at me like an idiot. I felt like they looked at me saying “How did you get in? you idiot”. The problem was solved when the host mom came back home. I would’ve been stuck in the house longer if the timing was not right.
On day two, there was an orientation. During the orientation, Gina, Lisa, and Ignacio talked about academic plans, insurance, manners at the host house, excursions, and activities that the students will have next four months. After the orientation maybe because the orientation was taking place in between breakfast and lunch, ICS prepared some snacks and drinks.
I’ll continue with the excursions that we did in next posting.