This year I was fortunate enough to receive funding from Gateway to take a trip to the south of Spain. As a former modern languages student, studying French and Spanish, I wanted to use the funding to reconnect with Spanish culture and continue to build upon my linguistic abilities. I did just this! Over the course of the week, I explored the cultural and gastronomic wonders of Andalusia. Eating at some of the best local spots and walking around the old towns, I took full advantage of the Andalusian summer and made sure to regain my Spanish as much as I could.
I found that I had to build upon my linguistic abilities over the week, as I was not fully confident in my abilities at the beginning, having spoken very little Spanish in the last year. I spoke with taxi drivers to build this confidence, discovering hidden gems to explore along the way. I have always found taxi drivers to be the best for both casual conversations and excellent recommendations. Taxi rides were also a great place for me to listen to Spanish music which I love! One of my favourite things about Spanish and Latin culture has always been the music. This is how I first became so involved with and interested in the culture. Re-listening to my favourite Spanish -speaking artists was my main means of preparation for this trip, re-familiarising myself with sentence structures and vocabulary. As well as this, I prepared by watching some of my favourite Spanish shows on Netflix and reading more Spanish media.
Being in a country where hearing ‘reggaeton’ on the radio and through the streets was wonderful, but this trip importantly reminded me of a culture and language that I have always loved and I am incredibly happy that I was able to go because of Gateway.
Undergraduate student, Human, Social and Political Sciences