Cosas de Sevilla #1, Fall 2017
Dear Friends and Family of The Texas Tech University 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. We are a little slow in getting started this year, so you will receive the first five weeks within this next week. My name is Lorum Stratton. After many years of teaching Spanish with the program, this year I am working in the Administrative Office at The Center in Sevilla with Dr. Sara Pink, Assistant Director, and Dr. G. Douglas Inglis, Director, helping to make this a special experience for everyone involved.
Our fall semester group of 41 students came together for the first time in Sevilla on Thursday, August 31st. Students and faculty all met 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. 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 started at the Cathedral, touring the world's largest Gothic construction and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. We also climbed up the Giralda tower, the city's most emblematic sight, originally built as a Muslim prayer tower and later incorporated into the Cathedral of Sevilla.
After lunch and a brief siesta, the group met back at the TTU Center to start our next orientation session where we continued with important information about classes, safety and host family stays. We also had a Survival Spanish session presented by Dr. Stratton where we learned some key tips for communicating in Spanish.. To finish off the day, we headed back to the hotel for our final group dinner.
Saturday 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 September 4th was the first day of classes. This semester we have students participating in two different programs: Spanish and Engineering. We are lucky to have with us this semester two veteran professors who have taught at The Center several times; Dr. Walt Oler, who will be teaching all of the Engineering courses this semester, and Dr. George Cole, Spanish. The Center´s Assistant Director Dr. Sara Pink will be teaching the upper level Advanced Language Skills. Texas Tech instructor Sergio Hernández teaches Beginning Spanish, and Arturto Ramírez teaches Spanish culture and the Survival Spanish for the Engineering students. These Spanish classes are intensive in nature and meet daily until the middle of October, 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 Vicente Iranzo. For the upper level Spanish students, Texas Tech Professor, Dr. George Cole, will add Spanish Literature to the Spanish Internship class which lasts the entire semester. Last but not least, Dr. Douglas Inglis, the Director of The Center, is teaching History of Spain, and a Seminar in History of the Southern Frontier.
The group will have a busy weekend this next week with two excursions. On Friday we will visit a winery in the morning at Bollullos, where we will see the Spanish wine making processes, followed by an afternoon at the beach. On Saturday, we be heading to the Roman ruins of Itálica, just outside of Sevilla. You will hear all about these excursions in Cosas #2.
¡Hasta la próxima!