Huntington University senior studies in Spain

A view of Calle de Argentina, one of the main streets in Seville that Kaufman travels on to school everyday
Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University senior Hannah Kaufman chose to spend her last semester of college in Seville, Spain.

A typical day for Kaufman, a biology major from Ada, Mich., begins with breakfast before walking to school where she has class until around 1:30 or 2 every afternoon. During her classes, Kaufman learns the Spanish language and is constantly stretched by hearing lectures in Spanish as well as speaking it with her fellow classmates.

Once classes are done, Kaufman enjoys spending the afternoons playing soccer with some of her neighbors or going to a nearby park or coffee shop to do her homework. She eats a later lunch, because in Spain, everything closes down until approximately 5 in the evening to observe the practice of the siesta. Once her time by the school has ended, Kaufman returns to her host family and eats dinner with them around 9 p.m.

An area by Kaufman's school, just down the stairs
Kaufman said the communication barriers of living with a Spanish-speaking family weren’t too difficult. “I understand what they say. It’s just harder to understand what we’re saying, but it hasn’t been horrible.”

Some of Kaufman’s favorite things to do are playing soccer in the park with some of the locals of the city, or watching American TV shows such as “CSI” or “The Simpsons” in Spanish.

There are approximately 45 students that belong to Kaufman’s program. A majority of them are women, outnumbering the men by approximately 30. The speaking ability of the students ranges from intermediate to advanced. They participate in many group activities and have gotten to know each other through these activities as well as their classes. One of these activities has been a trip to the city of Cordoba. Kaufman also said there has been talk of other travels with the group to places like Greece and Germany, as well as other cities in Spain.

Jennie Sterns (left) and Hannah Kaufman in front of the Guadalquivir River
As a result of this trip, Kaufman will receive a minor in the Spanish language. She has taken five years of Spanish previous to the trip, but not during her time at Huntington. “It was definitely helpful,” Kaufman said. “Basically, everything just came back quicker for me while I’ve been in Spain because of the courses I took in high school.”

Kaufman hopes to use her minor once she enters the medical field. “I think Spanish will be very useful in the hospital setting, but eventually I’m also hoping to get involved with medical mission trips, probably to Spanish-speaking countries,” she said.

Though having to overcome the initial feelings of being overwhelmed with the language barrier, Kaufman has enjoyed her experience so far. With regard to choosing to spend her final semester away from school, she said, “I’m glad, because for me I don’t know what I’d be doing. I’d probably be home, so I’m glad I did this.”

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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  


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