Taking class in the Universidad de Alcala was really an experience. It had its ups and downs, and it took some (a lot) of getting used to, but ultimately I think I´d do it again.Ok so here’s a list of what I learned, the good, the bad, the ugly.
The back story is that this semester I took Gestión de Proyectos en la UAH, it´s a English to Spanish translation class which mostly consists of practice translations in “real life” situations. The class took place twice a week, one hour on Mondays and two on Wednesdays. Just for perspective the commute on average took an hour, while this was extremely unfortunate it somehow didn’t stop me from taking the class.
- Commuting is not as horrible as it sounds. Yes, an hour to and hour and a half of commute for an hour class is kinda a lot, but it goes by quicker than we think, and honestly I prefer taking the bus to Alcala because at least it was semi scenic. You figure out how to stay entertained, like buscando a Gurb. Jajajajaja.
- La Universidad de Alcalá is really beautiful, I’m talking about marble floors, grand staircases, and vintage mirrors. Not really what our modern US campuses are like. God knows I got a few shots for the insta.
- Alcala itself, is…. Ok? I´m sorry I´m Madrid all the way. I’m bias, and love city living so don’t listen to me.
- Taking a Spanish translation class as a Latina who is a native Spanish speaker was as hard as I expected, yet still wasn’t prepared for. A lot of Spaniards still live in a bubble and while they’re super proud that spanish is the second most spoken language in the world they forget that PENINSULAR SPANISH IS NOT THE SECOND MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD.
- Professors really won´t tell you if they change the classroom or cancel class, if you don’t have contacts in the class you will literally make the commute for no reason. It took me a long time to figure out that I should check the messages in the aula virtual every week because, no, I won’t get an email about it.
- Spanish students are so much more chill than I ever was and honestly going back to Tufts is gonna be a hard.
- Classes here are actually concerned with your survival in the real world and will teach you how to do your taxes, save for retirement, and charge your customers (in our case how to charge people for translations and what’s an average price). Yes, they also talk about budgeting your salaries. Honestly, all this did was stress me out more for graduation cause I don’t have any idea on how to do any of those things in the US, in Spain though I’d be fine… that’s a thought….
- Yes, you can be a full time student and get drinks with your friends a few times a week, maintain a healthy relationship, and hold a job. People here have actual lives regardless of their “professions,” now that’s a concept.
- Professors can say racist shit and no one will bat an eyelash. This is a sad but real fact, talk to the staff at the program they will help/provide support/deal with it when you can´t. Bless them for all the emails they sent to our problematic professor calling him out on his shit.