Author: Soleil Gaffner

American Tigers in Paris: Gaffner travels

When you’re abroad during the fall semester, there aren’t any big vacations that you can take. The Madrid Institute for International Education for Students (IES) schedules all classes Monday through Thursday, which theoretically gives you Friday to travel. What they fail to mention is the fact that we have to make up every canceled class — on Fridays. These start to add up, especially after your professor gets the flu, misses a whole week of class and then has to make the students recuperate the lost hours. But, through lengthy planning and sophisticated communication throughout all involved parties, a group...

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Thoughts from abroad: Celebrating Halloween in Spain

Studying abroad is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that is hard to pass up. But missing your favorite American holidays while abroad will always make you think twice. Halloween is undoubtedly a very American tradition, but you won’t be completely stuck if you decide to study abroad next fall. There are plenty of ways you can still get in on the fun of fright nights and free candy, even over 1,000 miles away. Please keep in mind, my advice is based from one student in a European country. Anyone going to the rest of the world is really on...

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Learning lessons from Spanish immigration

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. I’m excited to hear about the events that Trinity’s own Trinity University Latino Association and Mexico, the Americas, and Spain program have organized (among other great clubs and organizations), but I am sad that I won’t be able to participate in any of them. To contribute to Hispanic Heritage Month, I decided to research the Latinx population in Spain. Studies done by the European Statistical Office show that Spain nationalized the most non-Europeans of any European Union country in 2014. Many of these immigrants can be traced to...

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Culture shocked in Spain: Gaffner reports

Hola, clase. Today, I’m writing about intercultural learning capacities, or, in plainer terms, culture shock. During our week-long traveling seminar, the Trinity in Spain program was accompanied by Katsuo Nishikawa, a political science professor who is also the director for the Center of International Engagement. Nishikawa conducted three classes covering some common misconceptions about the idea of ‘culture’ and what we might face while abroad. First, Nishikawa tried to wrap our heads around the idea of culture as a social construct of our respective realities. Usually, our idea of culture is the small stuff. British driving on the wrong...

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The tarnished present of Spain: Gaffner abroad

This week on Soleil’s Adventures in Spain, I realize how grateful I am that I was able to experience study abroad through Trinity. The program organizers, Trinity’s own Bladimir Ruiz, Rosana Blanco-Cano and Katsuo Nishikawa, among others, scheduled a busy week for our traveling seminar. We spent two or three days in three cities in the region of Andalucia, the south of Spain. We usually woke up before 9 a.m. and did not get to our rooms until midnight. This non-stop walking history tour of Spain was incredible, and definitely the best cure for 10 students’ jet lag. I...

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