It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Dec 21, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Monday, August 23, 2010

I have less than 24 hours until I board my flight to England and leave the US for the next four months.  I can't believe that it is time to go already, and yet I'm not too nervous.  Maybe that's because I've concentrated on my trip to England more than my trip to Spain.  I will be staying in England for a week and a half with family before I head over to Spain to live with a host family for the semester. 

I will be visiting two of my aunts and my grandma along with many of my cousins. I haven't seen any of them since I was sixteen (in 2006) and before that not since I was nine over the new year of the millenium.  It will be fun to see how everyone has changed in the past four years.  Visiting family for us (my family who lives in the US) means Christmas shopping in August.  Shipping presents can get pricey, so if any of us make it over to England (which doesn't happen very often) presents will get packed and sent with us, even if it is four months early

Let's get down to buisness (to defeat the huns... ;) )  What are my expectations?  What do I hope to gain from this experience?  Well my number one goal is to be fluent in Spanish by December 18th (my last day in Spain).  Right now I can read Spanish relatively well and if I take time, I can write in Spanish as well (although I don't know how dreadful I sound).  However when it comes to listening and speaking Spanish I have a harder time.  I can understand someone if they speak slowly, clearly, and simply.  But I lack confidence in my spanish speaking skills, which brings me to goal number 2:  I hope to gain confidence and independence during my travels.  I'm not a big fan of going out of my comfort zone (but yet I love to travel).  My confidence and independence will be tested on my first day in Spain as my host family will be coming back to Spain a couple hours after me, so I must make my way to their apartment via taxi by myself.  I'm sure it will be stressful, but I will keep the mantra I think I can I know I can in my head though.  Goal number 3 is to make friends.  I'm sure I will meet people through the exchange program at UPO (universidad de pablo olavide), but I also hope to meet some native students.  and goal number 4 is to travel of course!  Seville is close to Portugal and right across a strait from Morocco (which is the number one place I want to visit while I'm there).  I also want to travel up the coast to Barcelona and France, visit Madrid, maybe go up north to Guernica, and if time and money permit Egypt, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Greece, and Ireland.  Obviously I won't be able to go to all of these places, but it's a wish list, so I will keep on wishing :). 

Next time I blog I will be just across the pond.  If you want to learn about Switzerland and Egypt or you just want to read another blog take a look and my friend Lacy's blog:  ..  she will be studying in Egypt while I'm in Sevilla.

\\//, aep
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lacynoel on

Love it! I laughed out loud when you plugged my blog (thanks, btw, I'll return the favor). I'm sure you'll be fluent in Spanish, it's easier than you think when your surrounded by it constantly. I'm beginning to think I can speak Swiss German, which is untrue, because I am surrounded by it so often!

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