Problem: Losing my Culture Solution: Study Abroad in Spain
Organized by: Jesus Moreno
EVENT DATE Sep 10, 2014
Something to Pass on to my Children
My case is unusual, growing up in the small town of Farmington New Mexico. I was taught Spanish as my first language. My grandmother, being one, whom would not take no for an answer, was determined to pass down the culture through language to her grandchildren, one way or another. As the years in school accumulated, so did my English speaking skills. After the passing of my grandmother, my Nanny who spoke to me strictly in Spanish was gone. The Language that my grandmother had fought so hard to preserve was fading from the lack of practice. As a result of this, the heritage of our family died with my grandmother. My younger, middle sister learned about half of what I learned and my youngest sister did not learn any of the spoken language. I don’t want to lose my heritage like so many Hispanics growing up in The United States have. Study Abroad in Spain is my chance to pick up where my abuelita (grandmother), Juanita left off by keeping the promise of preserving the language, refining my already existent Spanish, and eventually passing this gift of being bilingual to my children.
The program that I have chosen is almost tailor-made for my very specific situation. There is no better place to refine my Spanish than the origin of the language; every other Spanish speaking country is merely a derivative of Spain, the mother country, to all the Hispanics in the world. Also learning this specific type of Spanish, will allow me to apply it, in many different regions; universality. The time period of my study abroad is perfect, long enough to substantially improve my Spanish, and not too long to delay my graduation. I went through CEA because the program had a package that included all the costs that one who studies abroad would need; it was more expensive than most other programs but included everything eliminating hidden costs that most students forget about. I chose this program because regularly, students from NMSU exchange with La Universidad De Pablo Olavide, whereas I will be exchanging with La Universidad de Seville. I didn’t want to be in a classroom that happened to be abroad with the same students I see around my home campus. I wanted to experience what the Spanish students experience at a university twice the size of mine; I want the culture shock!
Culture was another reason that I specifically chose Seville. Because Seville is the only port city in Spain, it screamed wealth of culture. After the year 1248, the discovery of the Americas greatly influenced trade, which resulted in an explosion of growth in music, food, art, dance, and most importantly, language. It is a bold statement, but you can’t experience Spain without Seville. Much of the heritage that most Hispanics celebrate comes from this area of Spain. Finally, I want to experience what my ancestors experienced before they immigrated to The United States or Mexico. Both my Father and Mother’s side of the family can be traced back to Seville, Spain. Moreno and Espinosa were noble family names and I would like to visit the territory from where our families originate. It would be wonderful to reintroduce a family custom that may have been forgotten, through the immigration of both of my family lines.
Studying abroad has been something that I have wanted to do since I started as a freshman at NMSU in 2008. Saying that, planning this experience for a long time is an understatement. It seems that every time I’ve made up my mind on going abroad some future event changed my plans. A class that was only taught once a year, financial, commitment issues, the list goes on… This semester I finally decided that I wasn’t going to let life dictate what I did; I was going to be the captain of my own destiny. It was hard finally committing to this decision, being an Electrical Engineering major, where the curriculum is very rigidly organized, with no deviation, and not to mention it is challenging in and of itself. Studying abroad in Spain and engineering are not very cohesive, which is mainly why I have prolonged study abroad for so long until I reevaluated why I wanted to go into engineering in the first place. I want to do Electrical Power Engineering, specifically because of its versatility all across the United States, and in every country. Most likely I will get a job that will require me to travel, not just in this country, but also to others. Having a program that causes me to relocate completely, staying in a home with total strangers, and speaking a different language is a great simulation for me as a professional in the Engineering industry. I feel that studying abroad is more than a trip to another country; it’s an experience that directly changes someone into a better version of themselves: professional development, conversation skills, a self-esteem booster like no other, and diversification.
In conclusion, my first goal of strengthening my Spanish to the level that I can speak English and Spanish ambidextrously will be accomplished. My goal of becoming a better engineer through added confidence and valuable life experience would be achieved by accomplishing my first goal. With your donations I hope to put this toward my program cost, flights, and other miscellaneous costs abroad. As a bonus i will post new pictures and videos of my study abroad experience every week. With all that said, I now see that I must study in Spain in the Universidad de Seville, there is no other country, and no other program, that I could go through to get the end result that I desire.