Over fall break, Caitlin Bolger was one of many Florida Southern juniors and seniors who went on their Junior Journey trip.
Bolger traveled to Granada, Spain where she stayed with a host family and took day trips to Ronda, Cordoba, Malaga and Seville. Seville was Bolger’s favorite day trip as she climbed a tower that provided a beautiful view over the entirety of Seville.
Bolger enjoyed unique Spanish cuisine with one of her favorite meals including potatoes with eggs, pork and blue cheese cream sauce. She found it interesting that people did not tip waiters as the tips were included in the bills at all of the restaurants.
Spain’s culture varied in many ways from what we are used to here in the states. One large difference is the time meals are held each day. Bolger said that is was normal to have an early breakfast at around 7 a.m. and not eat lunch until 2 p.m. The “night life” typically went very late, until around 3 a.m. Bolger’s host family wanted her to be able to enjoy it, but she had difficulty adjusting to staying out late as they had early mornings.
“We focused on the culture during the trip and the history of the cities, and I think it was really cool and eye-opening to see how old these buildings were and how different the culture was,” Bolger said.
The group traveled with two professor chaperones but had plenty of free time to go and explore the cities on their own.
Bolger took four years of Spanish in high school, but she did not have any experience in college. Her roommate at FSC speaks Spanish, so she was able to help Bolger learn a little bit of the language before the trip.
Bolger’s host family did not speak any English, so the only time she got to speak English aside from with her group was at more “touristy” areas.
Her host family also had two other students staying with them who were studying there for the semester, so Bolger was able to talk with them about their experiences. Bolger loved being able to use the bits of Spanish she knew from high school and enjoyed having the opportunity to interact with native Spanish speakers.
Caitlin’s favorite part of the trip were all of the day trips that had a good view of the city. She also loved the home-cooked meals made by the host family including picnic lunches and tapas dinners. Traveling abroad on Junior Journey provided Bolger with the opportunity to further her Spanish and experience a new culture.