By Lyndsey Adkins, photos by Jerod Foster
Although Andrea Corley’s birthday was spent in Spain, her host family still celebrated the special occasion.
Corley says that “her host-mom, Inma, threw her son, another study abroad student, and me a birthday party since all our birthdays were on May 18th and 19th.”
The fact that this stranger who hardly knew the students celebrated and welcomed the students left a lasting impression on Corley who says, “I adored the host family, especially Inma; she was so sweet.”
For a group of about 20 Mass Communications students the end of their 2011spring semester signaled the beginning of a life changing adventure. Anticipation and excitement built up leading up to the trip to Seville, Spain. Not only did students get to travel to a foreign country in Europe, but they also received lessons from Mass Communication College’s professors: Kent Wilkinson and Jerod Foster. Both are highly esteemed professors in the college. The courses that they taught were Special Topics in Spanish Media and Cultural Photography. These courses were useful, cultural, as well as fun.
Mikaela Addison, a visual communications student in the college, loved studying abroad, “The whole experience of living and immersing yourself in a foreign culture broadens your mind.”
She did not know Spanish before going to Seville, but that did not intimidate or hold her back from traveling to Spain. The Texas Tech University center in Seville is organized like the campus in Lubbock, so everyone speaks English in the classroom.
Although, Addison says, “We didn’t spend a lot of time in the class room; we were always taking trips and tours around the city.”
The students got to visit the Spanish newspaper and took photography lessons around Seville.
Corley, a senior in advertising, said that she “thought Foster and Wilkinson were perfect to teach the courses. They both know so much about their subjects; I really feel like I learned a lot.”
She also mentioned that the trips they would take, either to photograph a place or to visit a media station, were amazing.
By completely involving themselves in the culture, students were able to pick up on the language. Students also live with a host family in an apartment-type environment. Addison says, “The down time they had was mostly spent with the host family.”
Students would listen to the native host speak Spanish; learn about the culture of Spain, while enjoying home cooked traditional Spanish meals. Not so surprising Addison says, “They were so delicious.”
When they first arrived in Spain, they spent three days in Madrid where they heard from a guest speaker. From there, they traveled to Seville. On their eight-hour-long bus ride they stopped and took photographs of the windmills in Grenada.
Not only was there nice weather most of the trip, the group was able to make a day trip to the city of Cadiz to hang out at the beach, which was only an hour by train away.
During their free time in Seville during the day Corley says, “We would go out for tapas or sight-see and buy a lot of souvenirs.”
Not only were students presented with a cultural and educational experience, the group had a lot of fun that they could never forget.
Lyndsey Adkins is a senior advertising major from Dallas, Texas.