As I was sitting at the Paris airport waiting for my next flight after over 24 hours of travel, it finally dawned on me that I was in a new country on my way to study abroad. The process was taxing, but of course in the end, absolutely worth it. It can be overwhelming…the idea of being away for a long period of time, not knowing anyone, and just waiting patiently for the flight to land already so you can stop being wedged in-between two people. But as the first week rapidly came to a close, we can see the love, friendship, and culture that radiates from this wonderful city.

The first week was packed with something new each day not only to teach us about Seville, but to help us get to know one another. The walk through the María Luisa park, through the monumental downtown, eating churros with new friends, watching a Flamenco show, and cruising down the Guadalquivir river all set up this trip with overwhelming feelings of gratitude and excitement. In addition to the ICS, it is fun to explore on our own. One night some of my classmates and I went on a bike ride at sunset around the river and ended the night with drinks in Triana.

Each day was filled with new food, new people, and new experiences and I am excited to see what follows within the coming weeks. Just a few days ago, we visited the Alcázar palace, which is the oldest active royal palace in Europe. The Spanish royal family still uses it when they come to Seville. The history and contrast of cultures and religions spanning hundreds of years was incredible to see and learn about.

Over this last week I have enjoyed spending time with my host mom and my roommates. She makes us amazing food and we are excited to see what other new foods we will yet try! My favorite food so far is Tortilla de Patata CON cebolla. I am super thankful for this experience, and hope to fully immerse myself in Spanish culture and traditions. In the upcoming weeks we will have a day trip to Córdoba, a weekend trip to Portugal, and a three-day trip to Morocco, which are all going to bring this group even closer together and make this an experience we will all remember for ever.

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