1 December 2023 Exploring Literature and Social Change in Spain By Annette Stephens '24
While abroad in Spain, students participate in a full-language immersion program, study literature and social change, and investigate a new culture.
Led by Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies May Farnsworth, 13 HWS students are in a full language immersion program in Seville, Spain this semester. The program is grounded by Farnsworth’s seminar, “Voces de Mujeres,” which focuses on strategies used by Spanish and Hispanic feminist writers and artists to express themselves and promote social change. Class discussions examine how women authors have contributed to discourses of resistance from the Spanish Civil War period to the post-Franco era. Hailing from different academic backgrounds, the students also take classes at the University of Seville.
International relations major Izzy Renzi ’25, who has a double minor is Spanish and writing colleagues, says she is enjoying Seville, a city known for its rich culture surrounding food, architecture and bullfighting. “There is always something to see, whether it’s a flamenco performer, parks full of gorgeous greenery, or the beautiful buildings that line every street. I have met so many people from all over the world, improved my second language and experienced so many new things in such a short period of time,” Renzi says.
All HWS students live in homestays while in Seville where they are matched with a local family. Ryan Pero ’25 says his host mother, who is a wonderful cook, has been a highlight of his experience.
“Every night, we eat dinner together and watch her favorite gameshow, Pasapalabra. We got close very quick, and she has taught me a lot of Spanish since we only speak Spanish together,” says Pero, a Spanish and mathematics double major and a member of the Teacher Education Program, who is gaining professional experience through a teaching placement in a ninth-grade classroom.
“I have 30 students who I am teaching English to; I have formed close relationships with these students. They are interested in what my life is like at home, and I am interested in what their life is like here in Sevilla,” says Pero.
The abroad program also includes group excursions to major Spanish cities. Recently, students traveled to Granada where they had the opportunity to see the Alhambra, a palace that exhibits a mix of Christian and Muslim architecture, and is adorned with colorful tiles, ornately carved ceilings, and a giant garden.
“We also saw a flamenco show, in which performers combine guitar, singing and dancing to create an unforgettable experience,” Renzi says.
The Seville program is one of many abroad offerings provided by the HWS Center for Global Education.
Learn more about the Center for Global Education.
The photo above shows the students studying abroad with Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies May Farnsworth gathering for a photo outside of Toledo, Spain.