Archivo de la etiqueta: Villanueva de Córdoba

Bye For Now, Villanueva! – Janine

And… I just finished my last full day of classes! I can’t believe that this summer has gone so quickly. The last few weeks have been crazy busy for me and also pretty amazing. Tomorrow I have three more classes and then I am completely done teaching! On Saturday, I fly back to the United States for a couple more days of summer with my family and then it’s back to Oberlin College for me. It’s been hard work, but so rewarding to watch my students become better English speakers this summer! As my students have learned more English, I also have learned lots about how to plan lessons, manage a classroom, and answer questions. I also have definitely learned lots of new Spanish words, which is exciting. A huge thank you to my host family and all of my students this summer! It has been a pleasure getting to know you all!
During the break from classes at the end of July and the beginning of August, I left Villanueva to take a trip with my mom to Amsterdam. The beginning of the trip was a bit stressful. When I arrived at Atocha station, there was a taxi strike and it was a hard to find a way to the airport! Thankfully I found a 24 hour airport bus and I made my flight in time. My mom and I tried to do as much sight-seeing as possible in six days. We saw so many beautiful places, but my favorite part of the trip was going to a cat sanctuary on a boat in one of the canals, called De Poezenboot. At least 15 cats live on the boat, and people can come visit them every day and adopt them! I also enjoyed Amsterdam’s cheese and some world famous Dutch pancakes. After traveling with my mom, I also had the opportunity to stay with my good friend Emily and her family who live near Hannover, Germany. Emily was an exchange student at my high school, and I was thrilled to have the chance to see her again! Emily and I were pretty lazy, and we spent a lot of time sleeping and watching Dan & Phil videos on YouTube. I also ate a lot of delicious German bread and some fantastic cherry crepes.
When I returned to Villanueva, I was the only summer intern left in town! It was a change of pace to teach and plan classes by myself, but it was also lots of fun planning lessons. I’m thinking about becoming a teacher after college, and it was good practice to teach six classes a day. It’s been interesting teaching such a wide age range of students, from little kids to college students. I also took a short one day trip to Seville to see some of the more famous sights, such as the Plaza de España and the cathedral. Seville is an absolutely gorgeous city.
Although I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and family in the United States, I am so glad I came to Villanueva this summer! Hopefully someday I’ll be able to come visit!
Good luck on your exams!
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Villanueva in July and More – Janine

Hello all!
Things are starting to wind down in preparation for the feria, and the other interns are trickling out of Villanueva. Libby and I are the only interns still in Villanueva hanging out in the Academia today, and it seems more quiet than usual. Tomorrow I head out of Villanueva for the break to do some traveling with my mom in Amsterdam, and then I’ll be back in August for a couple more weeks of classes!
I am shocked at how quickly the last month has gone… Time flies when you’re having fun! At the Academia, classes have continued to be busy and engaging. My students have become more comfortable with their use of English, even if they are sometimes rather reluctant to speak out loud. I understand the nervousness that accompanies using a second language- when I speak Spanish it is very apparent that I am speaking with an American accent, and there are plenty of times when I am not 100% sure what is being said in a conversation. One of my classes finds my co-teacher Maya’s inability to roll her r’s hilarious. I suffer from the same inability to distinguish my pronunciation of pero and perro. Still, it has been great to slowly understand more Spanish as my students are also improving their English skills! I still am sometimes shocked when I realize I am understanding and listening to a conversation in Spanish. We also have added a couple new games to the mix in classes. My favorite game involves choosing three categories (like entertainment, money, and travel, for example) and then choosing one letter. Then everyone has to think of words that fit within the categories that all start with that same letter!
These past couple weekends have been relaxing and also fun. A couple weekends ago, I took a trip to Málaga for a beach day with Libby and my friend Emma. As someone from the Great Lakes, it still seems weird to me to be surrounded by salt water. The beaches in Málaga are super busy, but they are also perfect for a lazy Saturday! The next weekend, I spent some time in Pozoblanco in the morning with Maya and Libby. It is very similar to Villanueva, except a bit bigger! Pozoblanco’s main street is beautiful and full of restaurants, and there are lots of cute shops. That night, I experienced the Spanish summer tradition, el botellón, in Villanueva with Luna, Libby’s host sister, and some other interns. El botellón is not like anything I have ever seen in the States. People park their cars, blast music, and drink on the street. It was super strange to see my students there! I truly do not understand how Spaniards can stay out so late. When I asked my students about el botellón during the feria, they said they stay out until 7:00 am. If I tried to stay out this late, I would probably die. Sleep is important! Hopefully everyone has plenty of opportunities to sleep during the day while the feria is happening!

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Life in Villanueva – Janine

It’s been a super busy time in Villanueva! After intensive courses started, I’ve been teaching a least a couple classes everyday. It’s been great getting to know my students and learning to teach lots of different age levels, from younger children all the way to college students and adults. Slowly my students have been gaining confidence in their speaking abilities, and I enjoy seeing my students become more comfortable using English in the classroom. Sometimes, though, my instructions in English are hard for students to understand, which can lead to me speaking in my often confusing Spanish. I’m always super happy when, after a mixture of some interesting Spanglish, everyone understands what is going on in the classroom. I also find it hilarious how much all of my students love games, regardless of their ages. The 8-year-olds I teach love playing hangman just as much as the college students! Games definitely make the classroom more fun and less intimidating, and I hope to think of some interesting games to incorporate in lesson plans in the coming weeks.
When I’m not teaching, I’ve had plenty to do in Villanueva and around Spain! I went to Madrid a couple weekends ago for World Pride, which was a great experience. Madrid was absolutely packed with people, and it was amazing to see so many people from different places all celebrating together. Madrid is a beautiful city, even though it also feels a bit crazy. I’ve never been to New York City, but I imagine Madrid feels similar in a lot of ways to NYC. There were so many different types of people and so many giant stores lining the streets of Madrid. I stayed in an apartment near Callao with some of the other interns from Academia Manhattan, and the apartment was pretty classy. I also ate some really good Mexican food that weekend! Overall, I’m glad I was able to experience Madrid during World Pride, despite the craziness!
This past weekend, I went to see Córdoba, which was also interesting. Córdoba feels ancient, which is a feeling I never get from cities in the United States. I saw a bridge that the Romans built, which is still standing today! Córdoba definitely has a lot of history and I was happy to experience it, even just for a day. I also went to a concert from the guitar festival. I’ve never really heard flamenco style music before, and it was special for me to experience it first-hand.  It was also fun to visit Córdoba with Catherine and Libby, two other interns, who spent their past semester studying in Córdoba. I (and all of the other interns!) appreciated their knowledge of the city and their skills as guides for the weekend.
That’s all for now!

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Villanueva & More – Janine

Hey guys,
I’ve been in Spain for a little over a week now, and I’m starting to get used to living in Villanueva and working at Academia Manhattan! Villanueva is pretty different from my hometown, Ann Arbor, and it’s been a bit of an adjustment getting used to living here. Something that’s super different is the fact that mealtimes are so much later here than in the United States. At home, I normally eat lunch around 12:00 p.m. and dinner around 6:00 p.m. Here, lunch is at 2:00 p.m. and my host family often eats dinner 11:00 p.m., which is basically my bed time! It seems to me that people in Spain never sleep. I’ve also been getting used to living with my host family. Even though we sometimes have a hard time communicating because of my minimal Spanish skills, my host family is super nice and have been feeding me some wonderful food. I am especially a fan of the Spanish tortilla! They also have a super cute little dog who loves to follow me around the house.
Walking around Villanueva with my host mom and dad is funny because they seem to know the entire town and say hi to almost everyone we pass. Something else that is also startling to me about Villanueva is how easy it is to walk everywhere. This is super different from Ann Arbor, Michigan; last summer I worked at a pool and I had to drive 20 minutes every day to get to work. Here, my host family’s house is a 5 to 10 minute walk from Academia Manhattan, which is super convenient. Something that I have found not so convenient about Villanueva is the “siesta.” I have very conflicted feelings about a town-wide nap time. One on hand, I love sleeping. Who am I to complain about being given time to sleep in the middle of the day? On the other hand, it is super annoying to me that EVERYTHING closes. It is impossible to do anything in the middle of the day, which is strange to me. In Michigan, we have a grocery store called Meijer’s, which is open 24 hours a day for 363 days a year (the store closes on Christmas and Easter).
My first full weekend here, I also went on a trip with some of the other interns, Giulia and Maya! We went to Málaga for the day to go to the beach, where I had one of the most delicious burgers I have ever eaten. In the evening, we took a bus to Granada, which I would classify as an extremely beautiful city. The streets were full of delicious tapas and the view of the Alhambra at night was stunning. We also took a tour of the Alhambra the next morning; it was amazing to see such an old piece of architecture that is still standing.
I’m looking forward to exploring Spain and working more with students in the coming weeks!

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My Second Week in Villanueva – Giulia

Hello everybody!  My second week in Villanueva has just begun, and things are going great!  Last weekend I participated in my first “ruta de tapas,” which is a Spanish tradition of going around the different bars and restaurants in town and ordering a “tapa” and a drink at each spot.
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A “tapa” is essentially a small dish, and each place has a different specialty.  I enjoyed all of them!  My favorite drink was a tasty mixture of carbonated juice and wine that’s called a “tinto de  verano.”  Absolutely delicious!
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It has been quite hot this past week in Villanueva, so unfortunately I haven’t been doing much during the day other than working and going to the gym.  The latter has been a great and productive way to pass time!  The gym is very close to my house, and I enjoy running on the treadmill and stretching.  It makes me feel better about the large amount of food that I consume every day!
A few of my friends and I went on a walk around Villanueva the other day and we saw the outskirts of the town, as well as a few horses and some goats.  Unfortunately, our walk wasn’t very long, since we made the mistake of going out at one of the hottest points in the day.  However, it was still lovely to explore more of Villanueva and gain a better sense of the town.
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Work has mainly consisted of preparation for the intensive classes that begin in July.  We each need to get assigned our specific classes before we can begin to write our actual lesson plans, but we have begun to make general vocab lists and quizzes that can be applied later.  We have also made presentations about our hometowns, which we have been presenting to the different classes all week.  My presentation is obviously about Berkeley, but I added a slide about Oakland and another about San Francisco in order to give students the bigger picture of the Bay Area as a whole.  Speaking about my city has made me realize how much I truly love it; I could talk about it for hours.  There are aspects of my home that I definitely miss while being here, but I am grateful for the opportunity to experience this new culture.
Maya, Kaelen and I are spending the day in Seville tomorrow, and I’m very excited!  I’ll provide all the details in my next post, as I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about.  Farewell!

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Caracoles, Jamón and Tapas – Maya

Hello Villanueva de Cordoba! I am Maya, one of the students from the United States here in Spain for the Summer to teach English. I just studied abroad in Chile for the past 4 months. Chile speaks Spanish with a very different accent and uses a lot of different words, so it has been fun learning from my host family and the Academia Manhattan community. One thing that I have really enjoyed here in Spain is the different food. In the week, I have been here, I have tried gazpacho, jamón, tinto de verano, and caracoles…and I haven’t found anything I don’t like yet!

If you can’t already tell, I am a super big foodie. My favorite think about Villanueva de Cordoba thus far is the custom of tapas. Last week, the group of interns and I went out for la Ruta de Tapas. This is an annual event where each participating restaurant has a special tapa. A tapa is a small serving of food. If you went to ten restaurants and tried their special tapa, you could get entered into a raffle. I was only able to go to 5, but it was still so much fun and was a great introduction to Villanueva de Cordoba. I also had the opportunity to try tinto de verano, which I really enjoyed.

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I also had the opportunity to try jamón, ham, and gazpacho with my family. Someone came over to my host family’s house to cut ham in our kitchen. It took a long time, but the ham was so good, better than any ham I have tried in the United States or in Chile. My host mom also made gazpacho for me. Since it has been so hot in Villanueva for the past week, upwards of 35 degrees Celsius, gazpacho has been a great way to cool off.

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My host mom and I also went out for snails (caracoles) and beer (cerveza) my first night here in Villanueva. This was a fun welcome into the town. I had never tried snails before coming to Spain, but I am always ready to try new foods although I didn’t really know what to except. At first, I had a lot of trouble sucking the snails out of the shells, but once my host mom taught me how to use a toothpick, I found them very delicious.

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This past week has been full of new experiences and I am very excited to see what other new experiences I will have this summer!

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2 Weeks In – Catherine

So far I’ve been in Villanueva for a little more than 2 weeks and feel as though I have already done more things here in Villanueva than 4 months studying in Cordoba. To be fair, I was strapped ball and chain to the library at UCO for months on end as I struggled to understand the works of Vallejo-Inclan, Buero Vallejo, Onetti, among others when I could barely understand the Cordobesan accent. But now it’s summer (almost) and I’m free (kind of)!

I’ve been super lucky to be placed with such an amazing host family: Jose Antonio and Mariana and inadvertently Engracia, Pepe, and Antonio Jose. Their ongoing goals are to make me feel part of the family and to never ever let me go hungry, and I can say for sure that they have already accomplished them. Since being here, I have accompanied my host family to bars and restaurants around Villanueva, as well as trips to Pozoblanco and Islantilla. And each night, I have gone to bed crushed by the weight of my own belly.

So far my experiences in Villanueva have included working at the academia, going to the Feria Chica, going to the Romeria, leaving Villanueva to shop in Pozoblanco with Mariana and Engracia, leaving Villanueva to dance zumba in Pozoblanco with Mariana, visiting the animal rescue shelter with Libby and her host sister, Luna, taking Spanish classes with Mariana and Huan Kon, seeing Antonio Jose perform in the town band before the Feria and during the Romeria, visiting Islantilla with Jose Antonio and Mariana and various family outings for lunch and drinks with the whole gang. I have really enjoyed my time here so far.

I’ve loved getting to know the students at the Academia. It’s an amazing experience getting to work with so many different age groups. I enjoyed getting to know about some of the students through the topics they had prepared for their speaking exam. I also love just simply talking to students and learning about their day. The students at the academia have a really great sense of humor, and watching them progress in their English always inspires me to progress in my Spanish.

I look forward to seeing what more Villanueva has to offer in the weeks to come as we at the academia prepare for the intensive courses. It’s sure to be an unforgettable summer.

Until next time!

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My Arrival in Villanueva – Giulia

I have been living in Villanueva for almost a week now!  Unfortunately, I had a very long journey getting here; I missed two of my flights, as well as my train to Villanueva.  I had to spend a night in Madrid, which I found out the next day was the same night that Madrid won the Euro Cup!  Funny coincidence!  But at the time it wasn’t so funny – just exhausting and rather stressful.  I was relieved to finally arrive in Villanueva 2 days after I’d left San Francisco.  My luggage arrived a few days later.
Villanueva is quite a beautiful town, and everyone I have met so far has been very kind.  My host family have made sure that I’m completely at home, and I’m very grateful to be staying with them!  They took me to the Romería on Monday, which is a Catholic festival celebrated throughout Spain, and it was amazing.  I’ve never experienced anything like it; in Berkeley, where I’m from, there are few local celebrations of the same caliber.  The fireworks were my favorite part.  My host family also took me to Pozoblanco a few days ago, so I’ve had a chance to explore outside of Villanueva, and I’m hoping to take a quick trip to Córdoba in the coming weeks.  This is my first time in Spain and I hope to make the most of it!
In terms of work, things at the Academia haven’t been very busy this week due to exams.  I sat down with a few of the students directly prior to their oral exams and helped them prepare for their conversations and topics.  Every student I interacted with was more than prepared and quite pleasant to work with.  I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone at the Academia and helping them achieve their goals!  Everything has been great so far and the future looks bright and full of paella!
-GMC 🙂

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First Weeks in Villanueva – Libby

I now have been in Villanueva de Córdoba for almost two weeks. I have met most of the students. We practiced the students’ topics and interactive speaking tasks. I really enjoyed meeting the students and getting to know them. Their topics helped me learn about their interests and their lives, which was very interesting and fun to learn. Last weekend, was the Féria chica. I had lechón for the first time, which was delicious. I also had flamenquín and pizza at mycafe, which were also delicious. The caseta was fun and there were a lot of people there. I knew some of the Spanish music, but not all of it. I had dinner with my host family one night and helped my host sister, Luna take her niece and nephew on the bumper car and carousel rides. I also went to Calerito 2.0 that has a different kind of flamenquín, that was very good with lemon.

I am starting to feel more comfortable with my host family. I went with my host sister, Luna to the animal shelter that she volunteers at. I really liked it! The dogs were so cute and happy to see us. There were dogs of many sizes. I have now met four out of five of my host parents’ children.

Monday was the romería and I walked with Luna and her friends from Villanueva to the Virgen de Luna sanctuary. It was a fun walk, but a bit tiring because it was hot outside. We saw the Virgen de Luna in the church and ate some food at the stalls by the sanctuary. It reminded me of processions during Semana Santa, but it was different because there were tractors pulling carts of people yelling and having fun and there were lots of people on horses.

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Kaelan – First Weeks in Villanueva

Hey everyone!

So far, my first two weeks in Villanueva have been filled with fun and adventure. When I arrived, I have to admit that I was shocked at the scorching heat. Given, I had heard it was hot but I definitely wasn’t expecting 40C! The last few weeks have been a transition in regards to the heat, but at the very least it’s not humid.

Getting used to Spain hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I was expecting. The accent in Andalusia is not as different as the Spanish I speak in the United States with my friends, so the transition hasn’t been difficult. However, I was incredibly shocked when I saw horses casually strolling through town!

Last weekend was also la Féria chica. It was incredible amounts of fun, and I was surprised at how late the party went on for! The music was amazing, and I definitely ate my fair share of buñuelos. It was also very nice because it seemed like the entire town was there, so I was able to see both students and parents alike enjoying themselves.

Well, that’s all for now! Stay tuned for more updates!

-Kaelan

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