In this final post of the winter 21-22 term, Proctor en Segovia students write about just how much their perception of the world, their place in it, and themselves changed over the course of just one trimester abroad, in Segovia, Spain. They reflect on personal growth, forming deep relationships with strangers, and developing a sense of place while far from home.
Saying goodbye to master artisan and longtime Proctor en Segovia metal arts instructor, Jesús.
Spanish Final Video Project | Ciaran '22, Kathryn '22, Brooke '23 and Catherine '23
Undoubtedly the highlight of my time in Spain has been meeting and bonding with my host family. Coming into the trip, I expected to not see them very often and pictured them more as a place to sleep than a family. However, right off the bat, I quickly came to love them as if they truly were my family. Something so different about Spanish culture compared to the United States is the dynamic of families and how much time they spend together. Coming from the U.S., where I see my family maybe once a day if I'm lucky, to here, where I go home every single day to have a long lunch with them and just hang out, has been incredible. I've formed amazing friendships with my whole family, especially my host brothers, with whom I spend nights taking sunset walks, watching Netflix, and helping them with their English homework. I couldn't have asked for a better family to spend a whole trimester living with, and I will certainly never forget them or the impact they have had on me.
Let the Carnaval festivities begin!
My favorite spot in all of Segovia is the Calle Real; it is a place where I have spent a lot of time and made a lot of memories. Although the main road of Segovia may not sound like an interesting place to be my favorite place, it has become a key part of my time in Segovia. Each day I walk up the road alone to get to school in the morning. It is a peaceful walk, with gorgeous architecture all the way up the road. In the middle of the day I get a break and head out on the Calle to get food with my friends. At the end of the day I walk home on the Calle with my friends. I have countless fun memories and little things that have just made the road special. In the afternoons I have spent plenty of time exploring Segovia, cutting through backroads but the Calle Real will always be the backbone of our knowledge of Segovia's layout. The Calle Real has become a crucial part of my life and it may be simple but it is my favorite part of Segovia.
Kat A. '22
As I reflect on the last few months and try to think of a specific highlight, it is quite difficult. The obvious choices would be immersing myself in a new learning environment, culture, and learning about a country that has such a complex history. However, I believe that all of these have contributed to a personal growth and mindset change that I look forward to bringing back home with me. I am no longer the same person I was when I first arrived here. I am more curious and engaged than I have ever been, and I have accepted that being uncomfortable can be a good thing. I have taken risks, chances, and in return, resilience was the lesson. I feel more independent and empowered when I take myself back to my first week here compared to my last. There were some challenges. Despite those, I learned what it truly means to endeavor to persevere. My time here in Segovia has changed me and my life, and my highlight is taking all I have learned and using it for the rest of my life.
One of my favorite places in Segovia is the trails by the river. We went there for the first time for an afternoon walk as a group and since then it has been one of my favorite places to visit. It sits below the Alcázar on the outskirts of the city and the river runs parallel to the trails, so no matter what time you go there you can always see people from Segovia walking, running, or biking. The first time we went we brought a football to toss around and just enjoyed the scenery. Since then, we have gone after school, on the weekends, and on Sunday afternoons just to relax and get a break from the busy streets of Segovia.
One of my many highlights from this trip has definitely been my host family. It's just Maruja and I in the house so I am never overwhelmed by the amount of activity going on, but often her grandkids will come over for lunch or breakfast which is a nice change of pace, and I have loved spending time with them and getting to know them. Maruja treats me like her own child, and reassures me that I always have a place in her home for whenever I come back to visit. I truly couldn't be more grateful for how generous she has been opening up her home to me, and I can't wait to continue our relationship after I leave.
When coming to Spain, I didn't know much about Segovia and what my day-to-day life would look like. I had seen pictures of places like the aqueduct and the cathedral but wasn't sure where else I'd be going on a daily basis. The first time I went down by the river and up the mountains, I instantly knew this would be a place I'd visit as much as possible. It is the perfect mixture of being in the outdoors but also there are amazing views of Segovia's skyline. When I began to show others the endless paths that weaved in and around the city walls, they also loved it and river walks became a regular occurrence. We found plenty of cool spots to climb on rocks around the river and just chill while soaking up the sun. Some of my favorite memories have come from days when we have set off to explore new parts and paths of the river but never with a destination in mind; it was always an adventure. I didn't expect to spend so much time hiking and exploring outside of the city in Segovia, but it will be one of the parts I miss most from my time in Spain.
Carly S. '22
A highlight I have from being in Segovia is when we all went on a hike together. We hiked for about two hours on a trail that led us to where the water for the Aqueduct comes from. It was beautiful outside that day, and it was the first time we really got to enjoy the nice weather. The views were incredible as we would walk along the trail while chatting with friends. Once we arrived at the end, we all sat down and ate our bocadillos that our host families had packed for us. Soon after that, we realized that some of us had metal workshop today and needed to get back in time for that, so we quickly started to head back. Most of the trail was downhill on the way back so it didn't take us that long. While walking, we would go through very narrow pathways where we would walk single file. I remember Eliza would be in front of me while Oscar and Vincent were behind me and wouldn't stop saying the word “gritty.” We all would chat about whatever was on our minds until we soon arrived back in Segovia.
The highlight of my trip was my host mother’s birthday party. At 2pm on Sunday February 27th, the family members started pouring in. Berta had cooked a magnificent lobster with rice for the occasion, and we all snacked on chorizo and cheese as we waited to sit down. During the meal, I was able to listen to the conversation and practice speaking as much as I could. We had a lemon pie for dessert and sang feliz cumpleaños to Berta, all smiling, laughing, and taking photos. After lunch, I played Wii with my host siblings and their young cousins, and then some hide and seek. I bonded with my host mother and siblings so much that day, and really felt connected to the culture. I know I will never forget my time in Spain, I know my experience wouldn't have been the same without Noa, Bruno, Jesús and Berta.
Rosa's Spanish class Winter '22.
Sam L. '23
My favorite place I’ve seen in the past two months of my time in Segovia has been the river. It spans miles throughout the small city, with pathways to the right or left at any point. I’ve taken these beautiful tranquil walks on several occasions with my host brother and dog. Typically, we enter at the mouth of the river and walking through a park with a symmetrical line of trees to the right. As I walked down the path there was always an option to veer right, which took me to a very small mountain with the most beautiful sunsets. Continuing down the river brings me to a windmill factory with a great park to the right, where I taught my host brother to play football. To finish the riverwalk, I walk by the backside of the alcazar. It is like looking at the back of the Disney castle.