Thursday, May 31, 2012

La Feria

My first night in Cordoba at La Feria
The day that we arrived in Cordoba was the final day of the week long fair that occurs every year in Cordoba.  It is one of the biggest events of the year.  Although I partly felt like a zombie after a trip around the world that day, it was totally worth it to go out that night to La Feria.  La Feria lasts one week at the end of May.  It includes carnival rides, games, restaurants, places to dance, and fireworks.  We rode a ride that was similar to a ferris wheel and it was incredible!  When up on top we could see for miles and all that was at La Feria.  It was beautiful.  My host mom packed me water and sandwiches so that I would not have to buy food.  Although, all the food looked delicious.  There were huge baked potato things that were topped with loads of goodies that looked delicious!  We walked around and saw all the rides and places to dance.  Since most of the rides were so expensive we only rode one.  One of my favorite things was all the Flamenco dresses.  The women wore beautiful, ornate dresses and sometimes the moms matched their young daughters.  It was adorable!  At midnight we watched the fireworks.  It was a beautiful sight. 

For more information and better pictures of La Feria, click here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Los Baños de España

There are several important things to know about the bathrooms in Spain that I have learned thus far.  First of all, the thing used to flush the toilet is usually on top.  In most instances it is necessary to push down, but don't be tricked by the few that require you to pull up.  The first time I used the toilet in my house I was pushing down with all my might for a long time, until I realized I just needed to pull it up.  Second, it is not uncommon to not have a trashcan in the bathroom.  Improvise!  Adapt to the differences.  Third, bathrooms in Spain are not labeled "men" and "women", but rather "callaberos" y "damas".  The "damas" is for ladies and "caballeros" is for gentlemen.  Don't be confused as I was by "C" and "D".  Creeping into the bathrooms because you're not sure which is which is sure to get you some funny looks.  Finally, there are public restroom located along the street (picture) that are available for a small fee, about 0.3 Euros.  But be quick because there is a 15 minute time limit!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Faculty-Led Study Abroad

I am studying abroad in Cordoba, Spain with a group from K-State.  It is led by a faculty advisor, Dra. Anna Hiller.  She also has the help of a graduate student.  There are 14 total students in our group.  There are only 2 boys and the rest are girls.  I am surprised by the uneven ratio, more boys need to go on these study abroad trips!  The faculty-led trips are great because it is completely organized by the professor.  She has taken care of all the important details and I feel so much safer knowing that she is near-by.  I have also very much appreciated knowing other students from K-State on the trip.  We also flew here together and the stress of the trip has been so much less.  I suggest a faculty-led trip if you feel the need for extra security and aren't completely sure about how confident you are traveling in another country alone.  However, there are some drawbacks.  All 4 of my classes are with all the same people, from K-State.  It is not easy to meet other students at the University who are not in our group.  Sometimes I also feel like our group is very large and we receive a lot of stares.  Still, I am very glad that I am with this group from K-State.  I feel less homesick and more comfortable.  About half of the time I am with the entire group and the rest of the time I am on my own or with just a few others.  Overall I think the decision about a faculty-led trip or not comes down to how confident and comfortable you would be traveling alone.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Welcome to my blog!  I leave for Cordoba on May 25th! Stay tuned.