Jan 21, 2008
Livin’ la Vida Española (Pt. 1)
Posted in: Academics & Research
¡Buenos días! from Spain!
I don't know how many students from Spain apply to MIT each year, but just in case someone from Spain is reading this, allow me to say that you have one beautiful country.
Recap (for people who are wondering why I'm in Europe right now, when there was an amazing Hunt (yes, I know, I'm sad too) going on at MIT):
6. I'm in Europe because of 21F.782, which is a Spanish II class that is conducted entirely in Spain = living with Spanish host families and speaking Spanish almost 24/7!
28. 21F.782 covers the entire scope of a semester-long language course, which means 3 hours of class every day (from 10 AM to 1 PM) and at least one test every day of class (we cover the equivalent of one week in normal semester schedule every day).
496. Other than the classes, there's plenty of time every day to explore Madrid, venture to other cities during the weekends, and enjoy the delicious European food.
8128. Actually, 21F.782 is definitely not the only IAP language program that exists at MIT. There are plenty of other condensed-semester IAP language courses on campus (German I takes you to Germany)!
The coolest thing about an immersion program is that you are completely listening, reading, and seeing the language EVERYWHERE around you. When I took Spanish in high school, it was 50-minutes of class, and then it's adiós español until the next class period. Grammar/writing was important, because even if you completely suck at listening or speaking, you can still fake it pretty well in just a language class, since it's just for 50 minutes. Here, if you can't speak Spanish, then you just can't speak Spanish on the streets. Gradually, as time passes, you start finding complete sentences rolling off your tongue, and soon, you're starting to make sense of the daily newspaper, the subway announcements, and having 2-hour-long conversations with your Spanish host. It's seriously awesome. :)
This had been a really refreshing break from MIT, and I think this is a really cool way to spend IAP, actually (although I am missing my first IAP at MIT). Living in Spain had taught me how to appreciate the "little moments" of my life, away from the stress and pressure that does sneak up on me during term.
Here, life is beautiful.
(and warm too!! It's around 80 degrees in Barcelona, where I just came back from. It's like what, 30 degrees in Boston? =p)
Now, forgive me for being tourist-y.
* Okay, I just realized that I'm such a bad student and I didn't actually put up any pictures of us having class. But rest assured, we ARE having class in Spain and it's not all just tourism (*guilty grin*)! :)
If you want to find out more, you're welcome to read our class blog! Each student in the program is required to write 3 short entries for the blog each week, detailing their travels, as part of the program assignments. Minimum Spanish ability required.
Hasta luego! =D