Study Abroad Adjustment

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Location: Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

I arrived to Barcelona, Spain on January 10, 2017 and I can’t believe it’s already been two full months since I’ve been here. At first, I was a little nervous when I got to my apartment. I was about to live with four other girls in a foreign country who I had never met before. I came abroad with no expectations, but everything was a lot different than I am used to. For example, there are two “toilets” in each bathroom, they keys to the apartment are very old fashioned, the windows have shutters instead of curtain that close with a latch, and the washer machine is outside with no dryer.

I have learned how to adjust to a typical day in Spain. From my experience, I noticed that stores and restaurants close during the middle of the day, which is normally the prime time that I enjoy going out to eat and doing other activities. We normally eat dinner around 10 PM instead of 7:30 PM and when we go out at night, the club doesn’t even start getting busy until around 1AM.

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Location: Bling Bling in Barcelona, Spain

Grocery shopping is totally different than in the United States. First, if you buy fruits or vegetables in the Mercadona, you have to weigh them yourself and get a price label for it. At home, the cashier does it for you. Second, there is a huge selection of fresh fishes and meats at different stations, where at home they are all in the same small general area. There is also no deli meat here which is what I am used to for eating lunch. However, I do have to say that jamón is my new favorite food in Spain. Third, a lot of the food that I am used to being sold in a refrigerator is out in room temperature such as eggs and strawberries. Lastly, the first time I went food shopping, the cashier did not give me a bag so I was extremely confused as to how I was supposed to walk home with a week full of groceries. So, I asked for a bag and she said it was an extra ten cents per bag. I was in shock, but I needed the bags! Ever since then, I bought a reusable one that I could bring every time I go to the super market because that is what you’re supposed to do here.

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Location: Mercadona in Barcelona, Spain

Being abroad for the past two months has helped me pick up the Spanish language and figure out how to live and explore new settings independently. The time difference is hard with my family at home, but we make it work through FaceTime and texting. I am so excited to see what the final two months have in store, and all the new and continued adventures I will go on!

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Location: London Bridge in London, England

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