Just over a week ago, Proctor en Segovia began their term abroad living and learning in the Spanish city. Since the early 1970s, Proctor students have spent trimesters abroad, living with host families, exploring both a new culture and language, while experiencing a level of independence that accelerates students appreciation for and understanding of a global perspective. Check out student reflections from these first weeks abroad.
One week into Proctor Academy's study abroad program in Spain, I find myself navigating a landscape that's as diverse and challenging as it is enchanting. This journey feels like an exhilarating drive down an uncharted road, filled with unexpected twists and turns.
One striking aspect of my experience thus far is the prevalence of smoking in Spain. It's unlike anything I have ever seen, and it's a cultural difference that initially took me by surprise. The act of smoking seems woven into the fabric of daily life for many Spaniards. As I observe the common occurrence of this habit, I am reminded of how experiencing different customs, whether good or bad, can serve as a learning experience—whether I like it or not, I must learn to accept norms.
The terrain in Spain is vast and varied, and the city of Segovia is no different. From the rolling hills of the countryside to the bustling streets of Segovia’s city center, the landscape offers a rich tapestry of experiences. Segovia is a walkable city, and the ability to explore this terrain on foot is a privilege I cherish. Its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and charming plazas make every walk to school and activities feel like a leisurely tour of a historic city.
But the true gem of my Spanish adventure lies in the hospitality of my host family. They've welcomed me with open arms despite never meeting me prior. Their kindness and generosity have made me feel like a member of their own family. Sharing meals together, learning about their customs, and practicing my Spanish with them has been an enriching experience.
As my first week abroad comes to an end, I can already see how this place is shaping me. My Spanish is improving, I am becoming more in touch with the culture, and I have found a second home. Initially coming to this trip to learn more Spanish and to have a more relaxed first term, I have come to realize the other, more important benefits this place has to offer. Here, not only am I granted the aforementioned opportunities, I can also learn more about the enriching culture, history and landscape.
The city of Segovia is different from any place I know. Segovia is a small city with a lot of people, and almost everyone follows the same schedule. Segovia is such a small city many people walk everywhere they can. Between the hours of 9am and 2:30pm Segovia is a loud, busy and chaotic place, the streets are crowded with tourists, students, and business owners. Walking up or down the street can even be difficult because of the amount of people roaming, admiring the old architecture and views of the city. After 2:30 p.m. the streets go quiet because everyone has to go home before “comida”. “Comida” is something I've never experienced before, everyone goes home for lunch to rest and re-energize. All the stores close, all the tourists leave the streets and in less than 40 minutes the loud city looks vacant. Around 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon everyone starts to come out again for the night time. The nightlife in Segovia is big. Most restaurants don't serve dinner till after 9:00 ppm, and teenagers, adults, and grandparents roam the streets till all hours of the night.
We have now been in Segovia Spain for an entire week now and are so grateful to be able to experience this beautiful place and all the things it has to offer.
First off, the food here in Spain is amazing. I've noticed a major difference in the amount of well balanced meals people eat in Spain compared to the large unhealthy meals in America. Salads, lean meats, pasta, and tons of vegetables are an everyday essential for people to have in their meals.
While living in someone else's home may seem uncomfortable to some people, I have no problem with the task. Similar to the other people I have stayed with in the past, my host family speaks close to zero English which forces me to use my broken Spanish. Hopefully by the end of this amazing experience I’ll be able to speak the language fluently.
- Off-Campus Program
- Proctor en Segovia