We would love to welcome Caroline Schneider to our blog. Caroline studies at UNC Chapel Hill, and took part in the Summer Program 2021 at the University of Deusto. We share her thoughts regarding her experience during the Covid-19 pandemic.
«Hello, I’m Caroline Schneider and I studied in Bilbao the summer of 2021. I have wanted to study in a Spanish speaking country since I started college. However, the pandemic inhibited me from traveling during my sophomore and junior years. This summer, I was between my junior and senior year as a student, and the University of Deusto allowed me to experience something that I didn’t believe I would be able to do. It was my first time out of the US and my first time traveling at all in more than a year.
I study Hispanic linguistics at UNC Chapel Hill, so the opportunity to improve my Spanish was very important to me. Also, I wanted to learn more about the Spanish and Basque cultures. Before this summer, I didn’t know anything about the Basque Country and its history. I believe that now I appreciate the culture much more.
During my five weeks in Bilbao, I took classes and travelled around Bilbao. Many of my Spanish classes in the US focus on grammar and aren’t taught by native speakers. I really liked that my classes at Deusto focused on the culture of Spain and Hispanic literature. Although I’m usually scared of speaking in Spanish, the professors created a comfortable environment and I could participate in class conversations.
Although we couldn’t do many things due to the pandemic, we still could travel to various places around Bilbao. My favorite visit was to Antzasti, a farmhouse in the mountains. The owners of the house showed us the way of life in Bilbao in the past. The best part was playing Basque bowling (which we were all horrible at). We also got to try various Basque snacks, such as cheeses, meats, and olives.
The world has been a little crazy for a bit, right? Despite this, my summer in Bilbao was incredibly fun (and safe!) and I want to return as soon as I can.»