Immerse yourself in a whole new culture with Seville+London student Talaith Campbell!
***This is an example of a student’s experience from Spring 2022. Specific programming and activities are subject to change semester by semester.
Inevitably, a big part of your experience at Verto will be immersing yourself in a new culture. While of course, this is an intrinsic and wonderful part of your semester, it does not come without its challenges.
The most important thing to do before you leave for your semester is to open your mind. If you go into the experience with defined expectations, I promise things will be harder than they need to be. Try to keep an open mind as much as you can. Things might feel rocky at first but that’s okay! The Verto community and staff are there to support you and your support system at home isn’t going anywhere!
Once on location, that’s when the real growth starts. Expect to feel a little shell shocked right off the bat, but don’t worry yourself too much. Verto staff will guide you along the way with programming so you won’t feel lost for long! The first step to adjusting your mind and body is to get familiar with your surroundings. Engage in Verto’s tours but also walk around by yourself and try to recognize prominent objects or buildings around your new home. Staff onsite will give you suggestions for places to go on your own and things to do. Don’t ignore these! Do as much exploring as you can without tiring yourself out. When I was living in Sevilla, I discovered some of my favorite restaurants this way!
Another part of cultural immersion will be your accommodation. Your new dorm, homestay, or apartment will become your safe space so, attempt to make it feel like one right off the bat. Something I like to do is buy some plants to place around my room. It reminds me of home and makes the space feel a lot more familiar. Also think about what you have in your room at home that keeps you comfy. Do you sleep with a fan? Do you need another pillow? Developing a nice space for yourself in your new area will ease the transition overall. Back home you might be used to more space for yourself, always having a dryer, or having more room for storing food.
Cultural immersion is important! Don’t be afraid of the business in those first few weeks of the semester, make the most of the chaos and give yourself the space to adjust. You’ll leave the semester feeling like you really lived in that city and weren’t just a tourist!