This evening I had the lovely experience of attending a meeting of global engagement fellows who have studied abroad in Spain and Latin America. We all sat down together at Second Wind coffee shop, where we talked, shared experiences, and sipped warm drinks together. I took Spanish for six years in middle and high school, have gone to Spain on vacation, and enjoy watching Netflix shows in Spanish to keep up with the language. Because of this, I was particularity interested in hearing about the study abroad programs that these fellows had done. I would love to go back to Spain for my summer study abroad, and it was wonderful to be able to ask questions about what it was like living with a host family and how it was taking courses that were taught entirely in Spanish. I also got to hear about some of the unique adventures people went on, and received some great advice about how to deal with awkward situations due to a language barrier. One girl shared the story of her time shadowing an OBGYN working in a hospital in Spain, and how she not only learned medical terminology in Spanish, but got to witness astonishing surgical procedures like Cesarean sections. Overall, it was a great way to spend an evening, and I came away feeling better prepared to face the study abroad process.
A funny coincidence: the drink that I typically order at Second Wind is called “cafe de los muertos”, which is espresso, cayenne, and chocolate. A drink with a Spanish name was the perfect warm-up for the theme of the gathering 🙂