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1 posts from March 2016



By: M. Pakonen (University of St. Thomas)

The best part about living in Madrid is that you are in the center of the country and in the capital where all the forms of transportation are at your fingertips. One weekend, CIEE staff gave us an opportunity to go to a city called Seville. This city is gorgeous and is also a good city to do study abroad because it has a wonderful campus right in the heart of the city.


We left Friday morning and traveled via the highspeed AVE Renfe train and then had a few tours of the city.  The group did a bike tour of the historic center, visited the Gothic cathedral, bought cookies from a cloister, explored the vanguard Seta structure and discovered the Fine Arts Museum among many other things. This was my favorite trip of the whole semester so far because of one reason: my mother studied abroad in Seville with CIEE when she was in college!!!

  Patio de naranjos

This is why I chose Spain: because I wanted to walk where my mother had walked so many years ago. Even though I decided to study in Madrid, when we went to Seville, I could understand why she loved the city so much. It felt like home, and I could feel the bright futures evolving. So, when I went to Seville, I made sure to go to the barrio she lived in and go to the university she studied in. But, my favorite part was thinking: OMG, my mom walked here when she was my age.


She saw these same things and heard the same sounds as I’m hearing now, but so many years ago when I wasn’t even in the realm of ideas she had for her future. This also made me think about wanting to explore other places in the world.


So many things have changed, but so many things are still the same in Seville. And amazing world explorers have walked where we are walking at this very moment. People in the time of Christopher Columbus have came up with the idea of gravity or understood why the sky is blue in the same place that I’m sitting and writing this blog. People have fallen in love where I fell in love with Spain. So maybe, because I’m in a world where everything is so close and in reach, that I’ll have as bright as a future as my mom did, and ace my classes, and fall in love, and have children who travel the world and walk where I once walked.


I still can’t understand why life happens, but I know that life is spectacular and the fact that I got the guts to travel has made it a much better life indeed.