Ferrum College junior Suzanne “Suzie” Maines spent the fall semester a long way from her hometown of Winchester, VA. In August, Maines traveled to Denmark and then to Sevilla, Spain to begin a semester-long study abroad program. She left Spain on December 11 to spend more time in Denmark until she arrives back in the United States on January 6, 2020. Maines is majoring in Spanish and international studies and plans to graduate in May 2021.
Studying abroad was attractive to Maines for two reasons: she wanted to explore a new place, and she really wanted to improve her Spanish. “The best way to do that is through immersion,” she said.
Maines spent the fall semester studying at the Spanish Studies Center in Sevilla. She found some similarities to Ferrum College: the classes at the center, although taught only in Spanish, were all small in size and the professors were understanding and patient. However, there were lots of differences.
“The typical day in Sevilla is quite different than a day in the United States especially when it comes to meal times and scheduling in general,” Maines said. “Breakfast is very small, usually just toast with butter, lunch is a very long sit-down meal around 2:30 p.m. that takes about an hour to an hour and a half, and then dinner is usually at 9:30 p.m. or even later if you decide to eat out.
“Nightlife here starts very late, usually around 1:30 to 2:00 a.m.,” she added. “This is possible because of siesta. Everything kind of slows down and closes and people rest in their houses and sleep because it’s insufferably hot in southern Spain.”
Maines enjoyed being away from her normal routine while in Sevilla. “Studying abroad feels as if you’re in this little bubble and it’s very relaxing and euphoric,” she explained. “You’re away from all your problems and the same settings you’ve been seeing all your life so it feels like you have a fresh start. Even if it’s only temporary you’re definitely living in your own little world while you’re there.”
Visit here to learn more about study abroad opportunities at Ferrum College.