Salamanca & Seville: Here I come!

Here goes.

Hello! I’m Jess: age 22, confused about life, and going to Spain. Again. But this time I’m going to blog about it! Starting on the 26th March I’ll be going to Salamanca for 3 weeks and then Seville for 5 weeks; improving my Spanish level, exploring the place and enjoying the culture. I’m writing this blog to faithfully track my progress, share the adventure and hopefully remove any anxious illusions others might have about travelling. I’m going to learn some stuff, share that stuff, and it’s all going to be awesome. It’s going to be awesome and I know this, even though my brain is having a bit of an ‘oh God’ moment as I type this.

This time tomorrow, I’ll be in Spain. Yep.

Course & Accommodation

In many ways, this trip mirrors that of last year’s. So, about that ‘again’ part that I mentioned up there. I did not blog properly for 2016’s visit to Granada, so…here’s a quick recap of how that got started. Last time on Jess has a crisis in her early 20s goes to Spain, I went to Granada for 6 weeks for a Spanish language course, after finally deciding to go abroad alone and break the fear-of-doing-big-alone-abroad-stuff barrier. It was one of those personal achievements I’d always wanted to cross off my list, and one day I found myself searching the internet for ‘study Spanish abroad’ and found myself on this awesome mega-site called AppleLanguages. I was hesitant because comfort zones are comfortable but I booked it anyway before the little panicking Jess inside of me could get louder than the let’s do stuff! one. I decided I had nothing to lose by trying. Plus everyone I mentioned it to early on (like 2 or 3 people carefully selected) were very much on the ‘Go for it!’ team. ‘Tell people you trust about the awesome thing you’re planning -> feel accountable -> have to carry it through’ is a Life Hack.

The AppleLanguages site allowed me to book both accommodation and the course in one shot, something that I found soothing in its ease and so pushed myself to choose the ‘host family’ option for extra immersion. And then I left the job that had provided me with the savings, and I went. A full recap of the Granada experience would need (at least) its own blog post, however, so I’ll have to save those stories for another time. Given that the process of planning this year’s course went almost exactly the same, I’ll let this serve as a basic summary of the course/accommodation booking process for both, with only a few key differences mostly in the amount of travel I’ll be doing getting to, from and between courses.

Language level & expectations

My current level of Spanish is, based on self-assessment and the participation certificate I received in Granada, somewhere between level B1 and B2 using the CEFR; intermediate but still not quite comfortable enough to have conversations easily. Speaking is definitely the weakest of my skills. I’m hoping to make a solid B2 (Upper Intermediate) level by the end of the trip, hopefully bordering C1 (Advanced). I’ll cover much more about Spanish and my learning progress in later posts.

Beyond the 8 weeks

This blog isn’t just here for the one trip – travel doesn’t end with Spain, and neither will language learning. I’m looking forward to connecting with other travellers and learning even more about the world. As I move and grow in Spain and beyond, I hope you’ll share the journey with me!

Coming up: Arriving in Salamanca


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