University of Wisconsin–Madison

Study? Abroad

It is easy to forget sometimes, but I am in fact enrolled in classes. Whenever I heard or repeated the phrase “study abroad,” the first word held no real significance while the emphasis sat heavily on the second.

Nevertheless, I am currently a student at the University of Sevilla and enrolled in two “cursos para extranjeros.”  My classes are in Spanish, but my peers are also study abroad students.

The University of Sevilla is a staple of the “El Centro” region of Sevilla. About a 30min walk from my homestay, the building is an overwhelmingly beautiful homage to Baroque architecture.  The interior is somewhat of a labyrinth, but the cool hallways and open patios make going to class all the easier.

University

Flamenco: historia y cultura en Andalusía;  This class includes a lot more clapping and snapping then I would have ever imagined.  Everyday we learn about different styles and of Flamenco and often need to find the rhythms, or compás, of various songs. The history and significance behind Flamenco is truly beautiful and unique.  Although traditional Flamenco is thought of as a derivative of Gitano culture, it is has been influenced by numerous cultures through out time. Its means of dramatic and honest expression is at some times alarming, but overall incredibly intriguing and captivating.

Andalusían Gastronomía; Considering food is a large part of Spanish culture, this class is very relevant to my time abroad. We learn about the different foods that have been brought to Spain by various cultures such as the Muslims and Romans. Food has always been a favorite topic of mine, but learning about its history and cultural significance makes eating even more rewarding. However, I must say learning about the 6 different types of Chroizo (sausage) at 9am is not the most pleasant experience.

My other two classes take place with in CIEE with other CIEE students. The CIEE “palace” is also located in El Centro.  Its garden patio and rooftop terrace make it a great place to spend time studying and catching up with friends between classes.

Ciee

Made in Spain: History of Design of Spain; The colors, the architecture, and the everyday design of Spanish life combine to create an artistic masterpiece. This class dissects all aspects of Spain’s visual culture from architecture to advertising, modernism to regionalism. (And it doesn’t hurt that my professor more than faintly resembles a Spanish god.)

Art and Fiesta: culture and traditions of Andalusia; More of a history lesson than a “fiesta,” this class looks back at the different cultures that have contributed to modern day Andalusia.  To accompany our lectures, we take several field trips to different historical sites around the city. Cant say very often in my life I have learned about a historic landmark in class and then visited it the next day.