|Jackie Vasa studies in Spain|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
A rising junior at University of Nebraska Lincoln, Jackie Vasa spent four weeks in Toledo, Spain this summer on a study abroad program. While there, she fulfilled requirements for six Spanish credits and lived out her longtime dream of studying abroad.
Vasa shared her time abroad was the experience of a lifetime. She enjoyed brand new experiences, food and culture. However, she noted, it wasn’t quite the shocking difference she expected to find in Spain. One part of the culture that stands out in her memory is the pride the locals had in their country. They care much for their traditions—and soccer, Vasa said.
While studying abroad, Vasa participated in conversation and grammar classes. Each met two hours every day. The classes themselves took getting used to, Vasa said, as both students and professors spoke only Spanish, whereas her UNL classes utilize English and Spanish. The Spanish there, she added, is totally unlike the Spanish spoken elsewhere.
After classes each day, Vasa spent her time taking in the Spanish culture, complete with a daily siesta. All the stores would close for a few hours in the afternoon while everyone would take a siesta.
Weekends in Spain each consisted of University sponsored outings. The group went to Segovia, one of the more famous Spanish castles. Not only was it home to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, but Vasa also shared it was the inspiration for the Walt Disney Castle.
Other weekends they traveled to caves and natural springs in the mountains and an olive oil factory. The olive oil, Vasa noted, was delicious. It is nothing like American oil, it is sweeter, and they use it in everything.
On their last weekend before returning to the United States, Vasa and others traveled to Granada. There they saw what Vasa describes as the most beautiful thing she will ever see—Alhambra. The palace was amazing, she said, and huge. It was unlike anything she had ever seen before.
Vasa is a 2007 graduate of Holyoke High School. She is an English major at UNL, with a minor in education. She is the daughter of Pat and Danette Vasa of Holyoke.