As promised, a little bit about the classes I’m taking!
I am attending the Cursos Internacionales program at the University of Salamanca. What that means is that my classes are taught by USal professors, but in a completely separate program than the normal students. The other students in my classes are primarily from the US, some with ISA (my program), other programs (like AFIS, USAC, etc.) or are here independently. A few students are also from other countries like Japan and Italy.
I have class Monday through Friday at various times throughout the day, and each class two hours long, with class meeting twice weekly. I am taking: History of Spain, Spanish Art History, Business Spanish, and the Economics of Current Spain. All of them except for Current Spain are taught entirely in Spanish. Thus far, my favorite class is probably History of Spain. My teacher is very interesting, and speaks slowly enough and ennunciates enough that I can easily follow and understand her. My Current Spain class is broken into two portions (with two professors) – some instruction regarding basic economics, as well as a discussion of the current politics and things going on in Spain from an economic/political science viewpoint. I loved the first class, which was focused on the second portion, but the basic economics is review for me, and not nearly as interesting.
I am hoping that taking classes in Spanish will slowly help me to further improve my Spanish – some of my professors don’t speak any English, which is quite an interesting experience. (It hasn’t really been a problem at all, as they do a good job explaining things in Spanish, it’s just something I’m not used to at all.)
We don’t have too much homework, especially compared to what I’m used to at home. Instead a very large portion of our grade is based on an end of semester final (between 40 and 60 percent, depending on the class). The other portion is based on attendance and participation, and a few classes have a midterm as well.
Finally, on a completely unrelated note – I found this really cool website the other day, and have particularly enjoyed a lot of the Hans Rosling videos. By extention, many of them come from a website called “TED: Ideas Worth Spreading”, which I would also encourage 🙂