Study Abroad Spain: First Day at School in Sevilla

By Kris B., Guest Blogger from Sevilla, Granada and Barcelona, Spain

It was a cold, gloomy and wet Monday in Sevilla and hardly the weather I was expecting for my first day in language school. Luckily the school was barely a five-minute walk from my apartment and I did not have wander about too long through the complicated streets of Barrio Santa Cruz (though I would get hopelessly lost soon enough). I had taken a beginning Spanish class in San Francisco about a year ago, which gave me the over-confidence to indicate in my AmeriSpan application that I was “Beginner-2” (out of 3) level. I guess I thought that knowing the Spanish alphabet, numbers, and forms of “ser” and “estar” put me one level up from an absolute novice. However my illusions were shattered when I arrived at school and had to take the Spanish evaluation test, which would determine my placement level. Out of fifty odd questions, I could barely answer five of them correctly and the instructor promptly put me in Level A1(the absolute beginner level and followed by A2, B1, B2, C1 & C2). I understood pretty quickly that I knew nothing and my Spanish language journey was going to be a long haul.

I had three class-mates in A1: Lisa was a 16 year old student and from New Zealand (like everybody else I wondered what she was doing by herself so far from home); Ophelie was a 27 year old physio-therapist from Berlin and Marre was an 18 year student from Netherlands on sabbatical before college. I felt ancient in comparison and wondered how I would keep up with them. However, I was relieved to learn that their knowledge of Spanish was as rudimentary as mine. We got off to flying start under our sunny instructor Cielo, who had an easy and affable personality and a great sense of humor. I found that even my minor foundation in Spanish helped a lot because the class moved fast. There were two sessions, lasting 1:45 hours each, and a culture class for an additional hour. That was a lot of Spanish for one day. 

We did enjoy a 30 minute break in between, where we all gathered in the little Café across the street to sip Café con Leche (which was to soon turn into an addiction) and nibble on Bocadillos and Tostadas con Jamon y Queso. I had a chance to meet the rest of the students (the A2s, B1s, C1s etc.), and it was quite a gathering from USA, Germany, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Netherlands and Belgium among others. It was such a delight to meet such a varied crowd in this little café and I felt that this was going to be a unique experience, no matter whether I mastered Level A1 or not.

Click for more information on AmeriSpan’s Spanish programs in Spain.

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