¡Hola, buenas días, and greeting from Toledo, Spain! My name is Samantha Kane and I am studying at La Universidad de Castilla La Mancha-Toledo with my dragon, Miguel Jr. My little dragon is named after Miguel Cervantes Saavedra, the author of Don Quixote and considered the father of modern Spanish. Miguel and I, the crazies that we are, are part of one of the few full immersion programs offered by UNCG! All of our classes are taught in Spanish with local, native Spaniards. Miguel and I live on the most photographed street in Toledo-literally, there’s a sign and everything. It is located directly behind the Catedral, considered the “magnum opus” of the Gothic architectural style in Spain, and ranked among the greatest Gothic structures in Europe.
|Sam and Miguel on the streets of Spain.|
|Miguel enjoying the fresh air.|
Though I will attempt to sum up some of my study abroad experiences below, no amount of words per page could describe the experience that Miguel and I have had while studying abroad. Wherever we have traveled, from secluded Spanish pueblos, to the infamous Paris and the Parisians, we have always been welcome with warmth and kindness. Everyone, no matter where you go, genuinely wants to help and be kind, regardless of language barriers or cultural differences.
Our first trip was to Barcelona, Spain, my favorite Spanish cities-excluding Toledo! During our vacation, we visited Park Guell. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi during 1900-1914, this amazing park is considered one of the largest architectural works in southern Europe. Its main attraction is the mosaic dragon, which snakes down the main staircase, connecting two fountains. It’s a tourist tradition to take a picture with the dragon every time you visit the park. Miguel didn’t want to take a picture with me, he was a little intimidated by the sculpture’s lifelike features :)
|Sam at Park Guell in Barcelona. A little too lifelike for Miguel!|
One of our favorite trips while abroad was to London, England! During our vacation, we went to the London Eye, saw Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace, ate fish and chips, and got to visit the Cadbury Museum with one of our Honors College friends!
|Miguel enjoying the change of scenery.|
Finally, to celebrate the beginning of summer, Miguel and I took a huge trip through Europe, visiting 12 different cities in 31 days, all while taking exams!!! We rode camels in Marrakech, read scripture during a morning mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, visited a beer garden, and climbed the Eiffel Tower!
While I am glad to be home, I will always love and remember both Toledo and all of Spain!!!
|Sam and a new friend in Marrakech.|
Hasta luego, and buena suerte a todos!!!
(See you later, and good luck to all!!)
Sam and Miguel
Universidad de Castilla La Mancha Toledo