My name is Tobi and I am a second year Baking and Pastry Arts Management program student. I attended the SIP this summer at the University of Logrono, Spain. I stayed in a residence close to the university and got to experience all the flavours and colours of Spanish life. I arrived in Spain, knowing very little Spanish. It was definitely a culture shock not understanding everyone speaking around me…and to me. However, as each day progressed over the four weeks, I learned more and more. I met some amazing locals along the way and even had the opportunity to hike one of the mountains in the area with local friends.
Spanish culture is amazing! The siesta – they are not kidding about this. Many businesses close by 3pm and do not open until after 5pm…and for good reason too. It is hot in Spain in the summer! Temperatures can soar during this time and it can be just plain uncomfortable to be outside at times given my Toronto blood! The days are longer and dinner starts later, after 9pm. The food is unbelievable and I recommend to everyone to sample the wonderful variety of tapas (or pintxos in Basque language). My favourite is patatas bravas. Fried potatoes plus liquid mayo plus tomato sauce is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
In terms of the course, I took level A1 Spanish and was in a class of about 13 other students from all over the world ranging from South Korea to Australia to the Ukraine. We each shared our cultures and truly embodied the beauty of diversity. We all successfully completed the course through the caring guidance of the most charismatic and engaging profesora. I started the course a bit intimidated over whether I would be able to grasp the concepts. I finished more eager than ever to tackle the next level. It was an absolutely life changing experience and I recommend a global experience such as this to anyone. I met some amazing people, was immersed in a vibrant culture and have lots of stories to last a lifetime. Thank you SAGE and Centennial College!