Stories from Spain: Certificate Ceremony by Ceirra

On the first day at the University of Leon, students who were going into the summer program including myself had to take a placement test, it was nerve-racking. I rarely used verbal Spanish let alone get to hear it spoken natively. There were two sections to the placement test: Oral and Writing. The oral test was quite easy, but the writing test was 85 questions and took a large amount of time for me to finish. After I was done, I felt confident in my testing and knew whichever class I got placed into would be optimal.

The second day came and this is where it mattered most because students found out what classes they got put into. A vast majority of the students and I were in A2, I walked into room six and prepared myself for an exciting first day. My first period teacher was Roberto (grammar), my second period teacher was Patricia (writing) and my last teacher of the day was Noelia (Oral). All classes seemed the same that day, we spent the time learning about each other, exchanging names and interests. I was intrigued and motivated to see how my classes were going to be like, whether they were easy, hard, or just right.

As a few weeks go by, I got a feel for how exactly the classes were going and got the routine down. My grammar class was a challenge for me and I wanted to switch, however, Roberto (my teacher) had hope and believed in me, so I stuck with the class and pushed myself to study every night, participate as much as I could in class and do the best I could on my tests in order to get the best grade I could.

Now at the end of six weeks, the Fellows and I received our certificates for completion of the Spanish language course and earned 0.5 college credits! The diploma ceremony was in a classroom, short, but sentimental to each and every one of us. Four of the Fellows got to speak for their experiences here in Spain and what the school did for them: Luis, Ian, Angelica and Jennifer. We got to get our certifications with our program directors, teachers and of course each other.

After the ceremony, we walked as a group to the restaurant Bigote. We enjoyed great conversation with each other even Ariana, Aaron, Roberto and I made a TikTok for memory. As I look back on my classes I was in during the six weeks in Spain, I have many memories that I will forever cherish and carry with me, one being this awe-striking ceremony.

Kristina Brown