I am sorry it has been so long since I have updated. The WiFi in our house shut off for about a week and I was left with only an hour a day (if that) on the internet at the computers at school. Luckily the WiFi is back up here, and I can resume posting entries every few days!
Last Monday I took a test to see which level I would be placed into for my "intensivo" class. This class is basically an intense month-long course that prepares us for the classes we will be taking throughout the rest of the semester. After this course you move up one level, and that is the level you will be at for the classes you take during the semester. University of Portland requires us to test into at least level 6 out of 9 so that we are in level 7 for the classes. I ended up testing into level 7, so in a couple weeks I will be at level 8 out of 9!
My intensivo class has been amazing. Although it is somewhat tiring having 4 hours of class in a row every day, I enjoy my teachers and fellow students very much. One teacher (the oldest teacher at the school) is with us for the first hour. She is crazy and funny, and there is never a dull moment in her class. Afterwards, we have a different teacher for the next three hours. She is very sweet and a really good teacher. They both only speak Spanish and know very little English. I am finding it very interesting and challenging (in a good way) that this is the first time where I have to completely rely on everything I know in Spanish because questions in English will be of no use to me. I am learning so much in this intensivo course! Spain's Spanish is very different from Latin America's Spanish, and I am having to relearn a bunch of new grammar rules.
My host family and home are both still amazing. Liz and I eat a large breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, so I am trying to balance the amount I am eating with the amount I walk. I feel like I have walked more here in the last week and a half than I have in the last five years of my life! My house is about 30 minutes away from the school so that right there is at least an hour of walking every day. My feet are my best mode of transportation! My house at campus next year is a 10 minute walk from campus, which will seem like nothing after having done so much walking here!
Our intensivo classes end on Monday, January 30, and our program takes us to Córdoba (about 2 hours away) on Tuesday the 31, for a day visit. Then we have the rest of that week off before we start our real classes on Monday. A group of friends and I have planned to travel to Barcelona during that time off. One of my friends has family friends that live there, so they will probably show us around one day. If you have any suggestions of places to go or things to do, please let me know!