Adriana Ortiz-Burnham, Córdoba 

Middlebury College

Behind me in this photo is the hometown of one of my best friends in Spain. Middlebury had hired him to be the ayudante to its Córdoba cohort that semester. As I was the only student studying abroad there through Middlebury that fall, we got to know each other quite well. He took this photo of me on the weekend that we visited his family and friends from home. They welcomed me as though I were one of their own, and I was fortunate enough to get a taste of life in small town Spain. Through him I met the people who would become my family in Córdoba. A group of five of us – three Spaniards, a student from Germany, and me – made dinner together every week, taking turns making dishes from home. I am still in touch with all of them, and recently returned from Germany where I spent a week with my friend I met in Córdoba. I was nervous heading into my time abroad, and unconvinced that I wouldn’t simply be happier staying in Vermont that semester. It’s a sad thing to miss a New England fall. Looking back I quite literally have never made a better decision than to study abroad in Córdoba. I traveled around Spain, and to Budapest, England, Morocco, and Wales. I met amazing people, several of whom I will be close to for the rest of my life. I learned to appreciate both solitary adventures and those with new friends. My language when I speak or write about my time in Córdoba is often superlative because of how frequently and how greatly I miss it. I have so much love for that breathtaking city and its people. Most importantly, don’t miss the kebab place on Avenida de la República Argentina. It’s across from the hotel.