Alicia in Seville, Spain

Alicia, UIC B.S. in Marketing, 2020

For as long as I could remember I was always intrigued by languages. In middle school I took French and German and absolutely loved them. In high school I decided to take Spanish because I felt I would have more opportunity to use it in the United States as it is the second most widely-spoken language here. From high school into college I continued to take Spanish classes and found great use in the language. I worked in a sales role at a retail store where I found myself constantly communicating with local Spanish speakers, I could hold basic conversations, but I wanted to learn faster and I knew the only way to do that was to go live abroad. In the Spring of 2019 I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain. Sevilla was a great fit for me because it was a small city, I wanted to have the most authentic experience possible and Sevillanos do not speak a lot of English so I was forced to learn Spanish. Moreover, I lived with an awesome host family who constantly communicated with me at lunch and dinner time as well as electronically via text message and telephone calls. Ultimately, the five months I spent in Spain drastically improved my Spanish. Currently, I would consider myself proficient in Spanish, I try to utilize every opportunity possible to speak in Spanish with my friends, at work, or even to myself. I find that watching Spanish telenovelas really help me keep the language fresh in my mind. In the near future I see myself moving back to Spain to work for a year or two to gain fluency in the language.