My name is Jodie and I am in the Travel and Tourism program. I did the SIP program in Oviedo, Spain, which is located in the Asturias region (north of Spain), for July. I applied to the SIP programs for the fun of it and to be quite honest, I didn’t expect to get in. But to my surprise, I got an interview and then found out I was accepted to the program while I was away in Colombia.
Before departing to Spain, I knew some Spanish but I didn’t know enough to have a conversation with somebody or even ask for help. I only learned on my own by listening to Spanish music, watching telenovelas, and by observation whenever I visited Colombia. I was scared when I arrived in Madrid because I didn’t feel comfortable speaking Spanish since I lacked confidence. This quickly changed because I was forced to speak Spanish since that was the sole purpose of me going, therefore, I needed to try. Also, the majority of the people in Oviedo didn’t speak English because it wasn’t a city with many tourists.
I was in the Intermediate I Spanish class and my teacher didn’t speak ANY English. At first, I thought this was a little bit of a challenge but this actually helped me improve my listening skills. My conversations class not only allowed me to practice speaking, but it also helped me to be more confident to speak. With the help of all three of my teachers, Lorena, Pablo, and Gloria, my Spanish has improved in every aspect.
To wrap it up, I was genuinely sad to leave Spain and I actually cried while I was on the bus to get to Madrid’s airport. I will never forget Oviedo’s overwhelming architecture, the relaxing lifestyle, and all the people I have encountered during my stay. I have a lot of stories to share about Oviedo and these pictures and videos posted don’t do much justice. One thing I could say is that this was definitely a life-changing experience for me and I would do this again in a heartbeat. Te extraño mucho, Oviedo. ❤