Hola chicooooos. It’s Erin.
So, Matt and I have apparently failed at updating this blog on a regular basis, but I suppose we don’t have a lot of time to be sitting in coffee shops blogging about our trendy lives while wearing our thicked rimmed glasses and scarves. Anyways, so far it’s been a cray three weeks!
I’ve uploaded quite a few pictures on Facebook, so I won’t bore you with repeats. While I’m not sure what Matt has exactly been up to everyday, I’ll focus on myself. :)
I’d like to start this post by discussing the difficulties of studying abroad. No one tells you how difficult immersing yourself in a new culture will be. I’ve stalked plenty of my friends’ Facebook pictures while they studied abroad and as far as the pictures could tell, they were having the time of their lives each and every day. Before I came, I had fantasized and romanticized scenarios in my head of how my experience would be. I’ve come across some difficulties, and it’s simply a matter of my romaticized expectations not syncing with reality. I was under the impression my host family would love me and vice versa. Turns out my first host family didn’t work out, and I switched to a very senile old woman where generation and cultural gaps are aparent. I thought I would adjust to Spanish lifestyle after 2 days because Spain is just like America and I already dress Euro and love futbol—so I was pretty much Spanish already right? Wrong. It takes longer than 2 days. I thought traveling around Europe was dirt cheap and putting $600 in my bank account was more than enough. False. It’s cheaper in comparison to the flight over here or even a flight within the states, but when calculating the conversion ratio, it’s not like a trip to the Dig N Save by no means. I thought study abroad classes were a walk in the park and required no work. They do…oh they do…they aren’t always easy, nor is learning a language. For those who have asked me “why arent you fluent already? Haven’t you taken 6 years of Spanish?” Let me tell you, it takes a lot more than 5 50 min classes a week, 9 months out of the year, to speak and comprehend at the same rate as a native speaker.
I love it here—I really do. But when I encounter something that falls short of my expectations it’s incredibly stressful. But now I know that this is how it is and I can and will adapt to the circumstances. Maybe I can’t go to the bars and discotecas everynight or out for tapas—perhaps I will have to stay in and do homework and prepare speeches. Perhaps I will need to budget my money, and perhaps I’ll need to be more assertive with my host mother.
But, on the contrary, I walk to class everyday through the center of a beautiful souther Spanish city where mountains surround me and white stucco houses line the sides. I’ve met amazing people. I’ve seen the Alhambra, a bull fight, a flamenco show, gypsie caves, watched a Spanish Euro Cup 2012 game in Spain, backpacked the Alpujarras, and swam in the Mediterranean. All in just shy of three weeks. I’ve seen landscape and architecture I thought only existed on Pinterest. So, all in all, it’s going to be a learning experience. One bump does not mean my trip has been ruined—it means I’ve gathered knowledge and a story.
This is all for today. I’ll update again when I return from Morroco on Sunday:)