Having worked with the university since 2009, Fernando
Garcia Catalàn has followed the Spanish branch of the St. John’s
Discover the World program from his hometown of Salamanca to its
current location in Seville. Prior to joining the St. John’s
European team, Fernando gained a wealth of experience in the
multicultural education field, including three years spent living
and working in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Although Fernando counts mountain climbing, skiing and
ultra-marathons among his favorite pastimes, one of his greatest
sources of excitement is watching St. John’s students evolve over
the course of their time in Spain. “I see dramatic positive changes
every semester in St. John’s students,” he says. To that end, he
encourages students to step outside their comfort zones and expect
the unexpected as they explore their new environment.
Personally, Fernando loves Seville for its sunny weather, its
status as a historical center and its beauty, developed over
centuries of European and Arabic architectural influence. He
recommends that all first-time visitors see famous landmarks like
the Plaza de España, but also encourages students to go off the
beaten track: “I love to walk and get lost in the maze of narrow
and old streets in the historical center of Seville,” he says.
“Finding the small house where the greatest Spanish painter, Diego
Velazquez, was born will give you some extra points.”