My name is Michelle Saylor and I will be studying abroad in Granada, Spain this spring semester. When planning to prepare, I bought books, downloaded Duo Lingo, and added a reggaeton playlist to my Spotify. It is now the night before I leave and I’ve barley cracked a book, the Duo Lingo owl icon yells at me every day for not completing my 5 minutes of Spanish, and I learned that reggaeton music is, in fact, Puerto Rican and not Spanish music.
I’m relying on my extreeeeemly modest two semesters of Spanish to be able to get me from the Malaga airport to the hotel at which we meet the IES Abroad staff. You’d think if I’m going to the one place in Spain where they don’t really speak English I’d be a little more on top of my language game, but on the contrary: some people say the best way to learn a language is to be immersed! I studied abroad in high school in Israel and didn’t speak a lick of Hebrew when I got there. However, with Hebrew class every day and simply traveling the country, you really have no choice but to learn. I can only hope to have a similar experience in Spain.
While I always knew I wanted to study abroad, I initially choose Granada because it was the only city in the world I was eligible to go to with my limited Spanish proficiency. After much research (mostly via looking at maps and talking to my family (in addition to people I meet on the train)) I have come to understand what a treasure Granada truly is. Granada is a wonderful city that comes with rich history, beautiful architecture, and, naturally, everyone’s favorite: tapas. It is needless to say that I am VERY excited to get going and start exploring!
As I write this my mom keeps asking me if I’ve remembered “____” and to all her questions I keep responding with “oh shoot – add it to the list!”. It looks like it’s going to be a long night of packing and listening to my Top Songs in Spain playlist on Spotify (yes, I can learn from my mistakes and yes, there is still time to prepare). I’m so excited to share my experiences, my adventures, my stories and my laughs with anyone following along with this all semester! Fingers crossed the snow doesn’t keep me grounded here in Boston.
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<p>I love to laugh and think that's sometimes the best medicine. I spent this past summer dissecting human brains in a lab and the summer before that being an over-night counselor for eighteen twelve-year-old girls. I love to produce music and foster dogs. I took psychophysics class my very first semester by mistake (the pre-requists were calculus and physics: neither of which I had taken so it's still unclear who let<br>me into that class) which was truly the hardest class of my life but I stayed in it the whole semester and worked harder than I ever previously had and wound up doing well - still proud of that one! There are a lot of parts to me, and I'm happy to keep figuring them all out!</p>