Study abroad programs in France and Spain are available to all students, whether they major in World Languages or not. Programs in other countries may be selected subject to department approval (program descriptions are available in the chair's office). The Department encourages all World Language majors to study abroad.
For more information about studying abroad and program choices, please visit the webpage of the Office of International Education.
Nathalie Ohman, FSU Nutrition major and Spanish minor, was the winner of a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship for study abroad during her spring 2012 semester in Valencia, Spain. She wrote from Spain:
“I am fully immersed at this point and loving every bit of it. Right now I am studying and living in Valencia, Spain and it is absolutely wonderful! I arrived last Monday and my classes began on Thursday. I'm taking 5 classes at the moment, Upper Intermediate/Advanced Grammar, Upper Intermediate Conversation, Spanish Phonetics (I'll be coming back with the (th th th th) accent haha), General Translation, and History of Spain. All these classes are in Spanish which was a little intimidating at first but after a few days I began to get used to it all. I'm also living with a family which, I think, is more beneficial because when I'm not at class or exploring the city, I'm at the house constantly speaking to the family and improving my Spanish. Now, after finishing Intermediate II, I thought I'd be able to speak without a problem, this is not the case because there are words I've learned in the US that are not used here so it is like I'm learning a whole knew language especially with the pronunciation on some words. Right now, a week more or less into it, I've improved my Spanish immensely because I caught on to how the people are saying what they are saying and what tenses they use the most, etc.
One big plus about studying abroad and in a city, like Valencia, is that there are so many things to do and the city itself is not a modern city, like New York or Boston, it has very old buildings, Basilicas, Cathedrals, Towers, Bull fighting ring, and TONS of shops. It really is hard not to fall in love with the place and live here forever. This past weekend the school took us on a tour of the Roman town Sagunto, which was incredible because it dates back to the Bronze Age and, although in ruins, we were still able to see what the castle was like, the houses, the theatre (which they re-made and is BEAUTIFUL!-- pics attached) but all in all, being fully immersed in another country is certainly something I recommend to everyone, especially those learning another language, because living and walking down the street, you pick up certain terms or phrases that you will begin to say when you speak the language. I certainly don't miss Boston one bit, and a main contributor to that (other than everything I've already said), is the WEATHER... 65 +/- and sunshine everyday so far and it's only January!”
Danielle. During freshman orientation at FSU, I was handed a flyer from the language department informing the Spanish majors about jobs available teaching English in Spain. I remember thinking what an amazing opportunity that would be, and I added it to the tentative list of things I wanted to do when I graduated. That flyer got lost somewhere, but four years later I am now teaching English in Spain with that very program, Auxiliares de Conversación. It is a program through the Spanish government in which they hire native English speakers to work as language and culture assistants twelve hours a week in bilingual schools all over Spain.
Having had an incredible experience studying abroad in Sevilla, I was hoping to teach in Andalusia. I ended up being placed in a small region in Southern Spain called Murcia, with which I was unfamiliar. I live in the city of Murcia, the seventh largest city in Spain. It is surrounded by mountains and is located only thirty minutes from the beach. The Murcian people are so friendly and always happy to share their culture with you.
As for the job, my twelve hours are allocated between three different schools - one primary and two high schools. The teachers stay in the classroom and normally teach the lessons, but may have the assistants prepare a presentation about their culture, read to the students, play games, and correct pronunciation. I work with first, third and seventh grades, each class containing 25-30 students. The students love having the assistants there, and I am greeted daily with smiles, hugs, and a chorus of “Helllllo Danielaaa!”.
Although I enjoy teaching, the highlight of working here is the opportunity to experience Spanish culture firsthand. Two weeks ago I took a bus to Valencia for Las Fallas, where I watched a 15 foot tall sculpture being burned to the ground in the middle of the city. Just last week I found myself dancing flamenco with a group of Flamenco singers I met in a bar. Even everyday things, like how everything closes down midday for the siesta, or going out for tapas, are still so exciting for me. I spent nine years studying Spanish and learning about the culture, so to be a part of it is really fulfilling. I loved my four years learning Spanish at FSU and I feel really lucky to continue my Spanish education traveling around Spain.