Sunday, November 12, 2017

Mercy in Toledo!

Hola a todos!

My name is Mercy and this year I am a Senior double majoring in International Global Studies and Communications with a minor in Spanish. I just (well in July but it feels like it hasn’t been that long) got back from spending my Spring semester in Toledo, Spain studying Spanish. From the moment I got off the plane, I felt like my brain was being punched over and over as I tried to understand what people were saying to me in a language that I had only learned in a 50 minute setting. Accents, double cheek kisses, SPANISH ALL THE TIME, I felt like someone had flipped me on my head and told me to walk normally. But God is good and gave me two sweet roommates from UNCG who were bilingual in English and Spanish which aided in help me adjust at a gradual pace. My classes were in Spanish, which was definitely a challenge, but forming relationships with my professors definitely helped a lot. 

Some sweet friends from Khazakhstan and France.
Not even going to lie to you all, Spain was hard. But I left there with a greater appreciation for things. I learned to appreciate using my brain to push myself when it came to language comprehension. Learning a language is no easy thing, but when you do, you feel more connected with the world as well as proud of yourself when you thought you wouldn’t be able to do it. Spain taught me to go out and dance, to make friends to get out of my comfort zone because studying abroad means you’re already ready to exit that comfort zone. 

My visit to Freiburg, Germany

 I miss it so much. The sangria, el reggaeton, speaking/developing my Spanish, the ancient buildings and the little community I had there. But one day, I will go back and I cannot wait until I do! People are always on the move and being an intercultural person means understanding that wherever people come from, they are individuals who want friendship and to be respected and appreciated just like you and I. Having an open mind, understanding that you all may not agree on everything, but you are part of the human race and should love and respect each other is something I definitely had to remember while I was there. Spain helped me to listen more and talk less because, to take each day as it comes understanding that there is always something to learn. Studying abroad changed my life. It helped me to distinguish what line of work I want to go into (Foreign Service through the State Department, Lord willing) and I cannot wait until the next time I am able to get on a plane and go!

Mercy Woods
University of Toledo
Toledo, Spain