Sarah Bradwell is a 3rd year UFV student in our Bachelor of Kinesiology Degree program. Balancing travel desire with the need to progress in her program, Sarah found study abroad and “it was a perfect match!”, she says. Travelling solo was not a new prospect for Sarah, but Spain was a new country to her and it was calling her name. “I chose to come to Seville because of the historical location, class selection, and desire to visit Spain in general”, Sarah says, although the warm weather during these cool months in Canada didn’t hurt! Seville, or Sevilla, as Sarah eludes in it’s Spanish form, also “has a reputation [for] being one of the more authentic Spanish cities, so it all came together nicely.”
A beautiful new city with loads to explore never comes without its challenges though, some of which Sarah shared with me. Sarah struggled with a bout of homesickness right as she was getting acquainted with her new home, a product of challenges surrounding language barriers, luggage misplacing, and being solo before meeting other students from her host university. “Once I learned a bit more Spanish, got my luggage returned, and made some friends at school that feeling went away! While I still missed home, I had other people to lean on and have fun with! Odds are
they are having some of the same struggles as you are, so it’s nice to be able to work through things with someone else”, Sarah shared. This is a story which a lot of study abroad students face, but we all have a similar experience once we get settled and familiar with out surroundings!
Spain is an amazing place, with folks who do things a lot differently than we do here in Canada. Sarah shared her surprise with the daily routine that Spaniards employ, with later openings in the business day and siestas closing businesses in the mid-afternoon. This is made up for, however, in the late hours that businesses are open until, particularly restaurants. This is reflected in their lifestyles: “the Spanish eat a light breakfast when they wake up and don’t eat lunch until late in the afternoon, often during the siesta! It’s a large meal usually consisting of a few courses and some wine or beer as well. Then people go back to work and come home late
[to] eat a small dinner before bed.” This is something to get used to, indeed!
Sarah’s advice to prospective #UFVExplorers includes research, budgeting and organization. “…Start early! Start researching each city you might want to live in and comparing costs in addition to looking up potential classes, your future self will thank you for being organized! Things like transit and culture are also a good thing to look into before booking an apartment. Also look into things like visas for students because you might have to apply for one while you’re studying abroad and the applications can be tedious!” This is all solid information for student’s looking to go abroad, so heed her experiences!
~~If these encouraging and exciting anecdotes don’t convince you to go on an adventure you’ve been dreaming of, come on in and let us know how we can help! Let’s bust those #studyabroadmyths in your mind and send you packing. You’ll be glad you did. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your experiences!~~