Hello! My name is Jameson Dowell and I am a 2015 traditional Terry Scholar here at Texas Tech. I had the opportunity to study abroad this past summer in Europe and this trip provided me enough memories to last a lifetime, to say the least. By exploring parts of Spain, Italy, and Portugal, I was able to see new sights, experience new things, eat new foods, and even learn (a few) new words.
To kick start my study abroad experience, I went to Rome for a week before classes started in Spain so I could experience the monuments and sights the city provided. By staying in a hotel that was only a 5-minute walk from the Vatican, I was able to visit Vatican City every night while in Rome. Throughout these five or so days, I saw the Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, and pretty much all the other important locations in Rome. I ended up walking a total of 50 miles in only 4 days.
For most of the remaining time while abroad, I was in Seville, Spain for classes. I stayed with a “host mom” in Seville which essentially means I lived in a Spaniard’s home for the duration of classes. My host mom, Maria, made us 3 authentic Spanish meals a day (if we weren’t out and about), did our laundry weekly, and provided a bed to sleep in.
During the week, we would have class at the TTU Seville center MTWR from 3-5pm and occasional excursions around the city for academic purposes. I only took 3 credit hours while in Seville so I had plenty of extra time to explore the city and I was even able to find a local gym and work out regularly. Weekends were my favorite part of my time abroad because this was when we could travel around the country and even to other countries. Over the span of a few weekends, my class went to Madrid, Cordoba, and Granada for field trips around Spain. We also had a few open weekends so some of my classmates and I went to the beach town of Malaga, Spain for one weekend and then Lagos, Portugal for another. (Pro Tip: Traveling between the United States and Europe is very, very expensive but once you’re in the European countries, the cost of travel goes down significantly. I paid over $1000 for my direct flight from DFW to Rome and only $50 for my airfare from Rome to Seville.) I highly recommend you make the most out of your time abroad because these weekend trips added so much value and fun to the trip that I wouldn’t have had by just staying in Seville those weekends.
Before this trip, I had never been out of the country, let alone stepped foot inside of an airport or airplane. After this trip, I had survived 10 hour flights over the Atlantic Ocean, European flights, bus rides across country borders, and train rides all over the country. I’m from the small town of Henrietta, TX and never would’ve thought I could become a world traveler. Now, I’ll never have trouble coming up with an interesting fact about myself when that dreaded first-day-of-class ice breaker comes around!