CAS '21 Cara Mahoney

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SA: CASA Sevilla

Program Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): CASA Seville: University of Seville, Spain

Ask me about...

  • Going abroad for the first time

  • Staying with a host family

  • Taking classes in a foreign language

  • Participating in a community service component during my time abroad

  • Starting an intercultural exchange with a Spanish student

My Experience Abroad:

As a Hispanic Studies major, going abroad allowed for a seamless transition between my coursework at Penn and the cultural learning experience in Spain. As an English major, I had the chance to both continue my literature course work as well as explore other disciplines from a Spanish perspective and in the native language! I'm very interested in international politics, so seeing things from the Sevillan and Spanish national perspective in addition to the perspective of the European Union were a great change of pace and an important expansion of my intellectual horizon!

Other Highlights:

  • Overall, I absolutely adored my host family, and one of my favorite experiences with them was when they invited their niece and nephew over for lunch and we ate outside on the terrace. It was so nice to hear about my host parents from their relatives and meet Spanish students my age! 

  • Every Wednesday, as part of my curriculum, I volunteered at a communal kitchen for an organization called "Red para las Mujeres Supervivientes" that cooked meals every week for survivors of intimate partner violence. We cooked every week together and then ate together. One time we got there early, and a friend Paula invited us to "el Día de La Mujer" celebration and we did yoga together and marched around the Macarena neighborhood

  • As a program, we took a trip to Córdoba and Carmona in Southern Spain where we saw Roman ruins, visited an olive oil factory, and a "quesería" where cheese is made!

  • Through Erasmus program, which is the study abroad network for all European countries, my friends and I visited Cádiz, Spain, to celebrate Carnaval. We met Italian, French, Irish, and other European students and kept in touch with them long after our trip while managing to enjoy the beaches of Cádiz and all of the costumes and customs of Carnaval!

  • On my last night in Spain, all of my abroad program friends and I had a picnic by the river and shared our favorite parts of our (prematurely cut) time abroad, and cried as we said our goodbyes! It was bittersweet, but I was lucky enough to have met such amazing people and stayed in such an amazing place that made leaving so hard.

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