Cosas de Sevilla #1
January 16, 2020.
Dear Friends and Family of The Texas Tech Center in Sevilla,
Welcome to the first edition of this semester's Cosas de Sevilla (Things from Seville), our weekly newsletter about what is going on at The Texas Tech Center in Sevilla. You can look forward to receiving it every week, with the rare exception of when we are out of town on a group excursion. My name is Myriam Rubio, Senior Advisor and Instructor, and I work at The Center in Sevilla alongside Dr. Sara Pink, Resident Director, Dr. Jonathan Deen, Assistant Director, and Lidia McDonal, Program Coordinator, helping to make this a special experience for everyone involved.
Our spring semester group of 70 students came together for the first time in Sevilla on Wednesday, January 8th. Students and faculty were housed in the heart of the city at Hotel Fernando III starting a two-day orientation session. After a quick meet-and-greet for many at the hotel, the entire group headed over to The Center for an introductory orientation session which was followed by a group dinner. This first session introduced the students to the culture of Sevilla, and contained important information about classes, safety, travel, and host family stays. After our time together as a group, a fair number of the students couldn't resist the urge for a first night out on the town!
The next morning, we embarked on our first group field trip. The group had the opportunity to tour the Cathedral, the world's largest Gothic construction and in which lies the tomb of Christopher Columbus. We also climbed up the Giralda tower (about 13 stories tall), the city's most emblematic sight, originally built as a Muslim prayer tower and later incorporated into the Cathedral of Sevilla.
After lunch the group met back at the TTU Center to start our next orientation session, where we continued with important information about their stay in Sevilla. We also had a Survival Spanish session where students learned some key tips for communicating in Spanish. They were presented with a set of Survival Spanish Cards to help them survive in the community and with their host families. To finish off the day, we headed back to the hotel for our final group dinner.
Friday morning was the big event: the much-anticipated meeting of the host families! The hotel lobby was full of emotion as students met their Spanish families, tried to communicate, and cram loads of luggage into compact cars and taxis. Students spent the rest of the weekend getting to know their families and exploring their neighborhoods.
Monday was the first day of classes. This semester we have students participating in three different programs: Spanish (both lower and upper levels), Architecture and Engineering. We are lucky to have with us this semester Dr. Sara Guengerich, who will be teaching Introduction to Hispanic Life and Culture, as well as the semester long Spanish Internship class; Phillip Guengerich, who will teach Advance Language Skills and the semester long Medical Spanish class; Dr. Luke Mayer will be teaching the Engineering classes Dynamics and Thermodynamics; Dr. Jennifer Leonard will be offering a Biology class, and Elisandra García and Dr. Ángel Martínez will teach the Architecture classes. We also have Texas Tech instructors Andrew Cosper and Sergio Ruiz-Pérez. Andrew Cosper will be teaching Beginning Spanish during the first weeks. These Spanish classes are intensive in nature and meet daily until March, when we will transition into a second set of Spanish classes. In the second half of our semester students from the Beginning Spanish will advance into Intermediate Spanish with Sergio Ruiz-Pérez. For the upper level Spanish students, Dr. Jonathan Deen will also be instructing Spanish Cinema during the second part of the semester. Regarding Engineering, Dr. Luke Mayer will be teaching Solids and Fluids. In addition to these classes, I will be teaching a Survival Spanish course.
Last Saturday the students went to visit the Roman ruins of Itálica, just outside of Sevilla. You will hear all about this excursion next week.
I have included some pictures of La Catedral and La Giralda. I hope you enjoy them!