Getting to Know You–an Interview with Sofia
LPI Salamanca Summer 2 student, Jasmine McGlashan, takes a moment to get to know a bit more about her Director, Sofia Elena Ibarra.
Jasmine: Hi Sofia! So I know that you are originally from Mexico? How long have you lived in Salamanca?
Sofia: Hi Jasmine! For around 6 years
Jasmine: Why did you move to Salamanca, Spain?
Sofia: Because I wanted to study in another country and learn about other cultures and live a more independent life. Also the University of Salamanca is really good!
Jasmine: Was the transition from life in Mexico to life in Spain difficult for you?
Sofia: Yeah, I didn’t know anyone and I felt very lonely during my first months in Spain, and the culture here is really different. Also, the extreme weather in Salamanca—really hot in summer and really cold during winter—is very different than Mexico. Of course it was difficult because I missed my family and friends back home.
Jasmine: What do miss most about home? Do you plan on moving back eventually?
Sofia: I miss my family and friends and traveling around Mexico because the country is very beautiful. I miss the weather and food. Yes! I plan to move back there one day and help my country in some way.
Jasmine: What are your plans for the future?
Sofia: AHH!!! I don’t know! [laughs] First going to Lisbon to translate a Portuguese philosophy that hasn’t been translated to any language yet, then going to Mexico and opening a shop.
Jasmine: What makes Salamanca special in your opinion?
Sofia: It’s a small city, so everything is walking distance. The city itself is very beautiful to walk around and is very safe. There are people from every part of the world so it’s very multicultural, which makes the city very rich, and the University of Salamanca is the oldest in Spain.
Jasmine: What’s do you love most about your job?
Sofia: The everyday contact with students, being around them doing cultural activities, listening to their stories. Living vicariously through these students and helping them during this great life-changing experience!
Jasmine: What is your favorite place in Spain?
Sofia: My favorite part of Spain is Galicia: the landscape there is very green, and it has amazing beaches, lakes and mountains. And you can get some really good food there. The Gallegos are also very friendly.
Jasmine: In one word describe Salamanca?
Sofia: In one word?!…GOLD.