Studying in Oviedo
By Daniel Godden, Spanish Major
Daniel Godden is a graduating Spanish Major who studied under the Professional Concentration. He is one of the five SSU students who completed a semester abroad in Oviedo Spain during 2010. During the academic year, the University of Oviedo has a wonderful Language and Culture Program for foreigners at two different levels, Intermediate and Advanced. There are a variety of courses to choose from. The best part of the program is its affordability, studying a semester in Oviedo is around the same price as studying a semester at Salem State. Here are some thoughts from Daniel Godden about his stay in Oviedo in Fall 2010:
Oviedo is a beautiful city in the province of Asturias. The city’s attractiveness makes the trip to school nice. All of the students that went had walks of no more than ten minutes. There are numerous parks in the city and it is a central stop for most forms of transportation, which makes traveling easy.
The classes for all “extranjeros” are located in “La Casa de Las Lenguas”. This is where you will see lots of foreigners and fellow Americans studying in the same program. The first day of classes is a placement test. After that, you find out what level you are placed in and then choose your classes. I found the classes very interesting and educational. First, as you would expect, they are completely in Spanish, which is good because you take more in. All of the teachers are very nice, accommodating, and helpful. I suggest entering the Tándem program where you are paired with a conversation partner that is a Spaniard learning English.
I could not have asked for a better living situation than the one I had. My family consisted of a mother, father, and two daughters. In regard to the latter, one lived there while the other was away at school. The daughter was my age and planned to move to London with her boyfriend so we learned from each other. The father was an anesthesiologist in a local hospital and the mother was a primary school teacher. All of the family members were very welcoming and kind. They even invited me to a second house they owned in a small coastal village north of Oviedo.
The locals are friendly and it is easy to strike up a conversation with most. One surefire way to meet locals is to go to cafes and bars. In Oviedo, there is a street called “Calle Mon” where the nightlife happens. Many people come from surrounding cities at night to go out here. The streets are filled which is rather different than in the U.S. Congregating in the nearby “Plaza del Sol” is also a popular thing to do.
All in all, Oviedo is a great place to study abroad for numerous reasons such as the classes, its nightlife, its status as a natural paradise which is popular with hikers and people who just enjoy the outside, and –most importantly- its people. I urge any fellow students to think about going to do it. It is financially possible whether you think it so or not. It is also completely worth it. It is an experience that will change your life for the better.