The Adventure Begins!

Hola Everyone! This is Luci blogging for the first time in Valladolid, Spain! Blake Peterson and I have officially begun our 90 day stay in Valladolid for our internship as English Language Instructors with United Cultures S.L.

Blake and I, along with our internship supervisor Heather Espeso and two of her three children, began our journey to Valladolid on Saturday. We left from the Erie International Airport and flew to Philadelphia. We endured a seven hour layover in Philly before taking off for Spain. The flight was long and we tried to get our beauty sleep the best we could, knowing that we had a long day of jet lag ahead of us. We reached the airport in Madrid at about 7:20 p.m. local time, which for us Americans is the equivalent to 1 in the morning! Even so, we were so excited to finally be in Spain that we were feeling great! But we weren’t to our final destination quite yet. Blake and I still had to make it to Valladolid.

Here we ran into only a couple of minor problems… We thought that we could take a bus to the city, but it turned out that the next bus wasn’t until the afternoon! So we scoured the unfamiliar airport for the train station. It was a good thing most of the people we asked to help us find our way spoke English, because we soon discovered that we are not as good as Spanish as we thought that we were! We found it, eventually, and soon enough we were off. We missed our first stop, but what is an adventure without a little unplanned detour? Don’t worry, after laughing at ourselves for a few minutes we just hopped on the train back to where we were supposed to be. One more train ride was between us and Valladolid! The nice little siesta helped the hour long ride go by fast and FINALLY, we were in Valladolid!!

The Valladolid skyline at sunrise

The view of the city from my new home in Valladolid!

From there we went our separate ways, Blake to his family and I to mine. My family consists of my host dad, Pepe, and two host sisters; Cristina, who is 14 and Teresa, who is 10. Cristina speaks some English, which really helps! Even little Teresa knows some, and she has been trying really hard to communicate with me. It is a unique dynamic when you are in a situation where you cannot effectively communicate with the people you are living with. It is really a lot of fun and I am already beginning to learn more!

After they picked me up from the train station they took me to their home, which is right in the middle of the city. We then walked around and I got a mini tour of Valladolid. I saw the Cathedral of Valladolid and other churches, the Plaza Mayor and the City Hall building, little markets and shopping centers, restaurants, and more! I also got to meet a couple of family friends; my family seems to know everyone they run into simply walking down the street. Everyone was very welcoming. I also had my first Spanish tortilla, and it was delicioso!

So far Valladolid is amazing. I am so grateful to be able to have this opportunity, and I cannot wait to see where it takes me. I have a lot to learn and it is going to be difficult, but I am ready and eager for the challenge!

Learn more about our international internships and how you can have an experience like Luci’s! JCC offers a wide variety of internship opportunities, both abroad and at home, paid and unpaid, for credit or not, with the college or with area businesses and organizations. Check out our listing of available internship opportunities and fill out an internship interest form to learn more.

About the author

Luci Sena

Hi! My name is Luciana Sena, but you can call me Luci. I am currently a freshman here at JCC with an individual studies major because, to be honest, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. But I’m OK with that because it gives me the chance to explore! For the spring 2014 semester my surroundings will dramatically change as I embark on an amazing adventure teaching English in Valladolid, Spain! What an incredible opportunity I have been given; I am beyond excited to partake in this experience as well as to share it with all of you!