One of the best parts of my study abroad program were the excursions. I participated in UA’s Language and Culture program in Spain, and we visited some of the most important historical and cultural sights in the country. Our program consisted of class Monday through Thursday with relevant trips on Friday and Saturday.My favorite excursion was Toledo, but I also thoroughly enjoyed visiting Segovia, Salamanca, and Aranjuez.
Toledo was our first excursion from our university in Madrid. The bus ride took about an hour, and before I knew it our bus was driving up a hill to a panoramic view of the city. As I had never been outside of North America before, I was completely fascinated to see all of the ancient architecture. Toledo is a medieval city that was once the capital of Spain, and the city enjoys the natural protection of a river and mountains. The panoramic view of Toledo took my breath away, and I immediately fell in love with the town. We spent the day exploring cathedrals and enjoying the beautiful sights.
The next day, we visited a Segovia where we were able to see a Roman Aqueduct. This aqueduct is one of the best preserved in the world and is two thousand years old. We also had the pleasure of visiting the Alcazar of Segovia, from where we were able to climb to the top of a tower to see the incredible views of the city.
The next week, we visited Salamanca, home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The university was founded in 1134 and educated some of Spain’s greatest minds. I greatly enjoyed visiting the university, especially since some of the old classrooms have been preserved in their original state. Along with the university, we visited Salamanca’s cathedral. My favorite part of the cathedral was the outer doors. During restoration, one of the architects included something from his century, and thus an astronaut appears in the middle of a gothic cathedral.
These excursions completely enriched my study abroad experience. Many of the places we visited are places I can not wait to go again.