Málaga: A Journey into the Spanish Language

Soledad Guerrero Gonzalez, Guest Writer

Learning a second language seems to be a challenge, and not only for students who are faced with verb conjugation tables, lists of exceptions to the rules, and crazy spelling instructions, but also for those who embark on a journey into the language, opting for experiential and immersive learning. I know firsthand, living away from home or your country is not easy, but how beautiful to dedicate that enormous effort to learning about other cultures, countries and linguistic worlds! Thus, numerous Dickinsonians will now be deciding which destinations are the right ones to learn the language according to the opportunities that this university offers.

Perhaps, some of these students are considering improving their knowledge of Spanish. For this reason, I contacted former students who have lived in Málaga, Spain and asked about their experiences and opinions about the program and thought I would take advantage of the best thing about this type of opportunity: it creates a huge network of contacts whose common point is a city. In this case, I have the pleasure of talking about my city: Málaga. Thanks to her stay in Málaga, Georgia Dahm ’24, a student who enjoyed four months during 2022, recognizes that she has had the opportunity to grow as a person, to know herself better and to explore new territories and conversations in a unique environment such as the welcoming and sunny city of Málaga.

For other students, like Olivia Lowden ‘19, who spent her senior spring semester in Málaga, this city and learning Spanish in it has meant a huge change in not only her work life, but also her personal life, as she will soon be walking along the Paseo Marítimo hand in hand with her husband, a malagueño she met thanks to this program and who, like the city, amazed her. Talking to Aleah Spiro ‘23, who spent four months during 2022, I discovered that the best thing for her was being surrounded by so many places to visit, even though the accent of her host family was especially difficult to understand at the beginning and this made her have to try a little harder to communicate. They could be coincidences, but what is certain is that a lot of chance encounters and findings make Málaga a city and a university that Dickinson students cannot easily forget.