Well, I know I definitely do not look like a local, but I also don’t feel like a newbie here anymore.
One month and four days have officially passed since I arrived in Barcelona and I must admit that it has been a difficult adjustment, but I have a daily routine now and I am loving the experience.
My first step to becoming a local was to begin grocery shopping and cooking my own meals at home. This helped me save money and made me feel like I was actually living here. My American roommate and I have been grocery shopping every week, so the employees remember us now and we run into people from school; I feel at home.
Adjusting to school was also difficult because I had to learn everything from scratch. I had to learn about classroom locations that follow a pattern, I had to learn how to find books because the library does not carry them all and I had to learn simple terms that are in Catalan, which is very different from the Spanish language that I have known my whole life.
Catalan is a mixture of Spanish and French, so you can probably guess the difficulties I have understanding Spaniards sometimes. At my school here there is no such thing as quizzes; our grade depends on one final test at the end of May, so there are no other ways to score points besides acing that final test. This is a frightening thought because I have to change my ways of studying now. Whatever I was doing back home probably will not work so well here.
The professors have been very clear in what they expect from me and although I am an international student, they will not make things easy fore me; I almost wish they did, but that just means I will have to work harder. It is an odd balance between trying to study and attempting to travel.
I am in Europe after all, so of course I have to see all that I can while I am here. I am lucky to have my American roommate here because we are both interested in traveling to the same places. My flights to Amsterdam, Paris, and Morocco are booked! Now I just need to book my flight to Italy, which will be the last country I visit.
I know this post is all over the place, but I just wanted to give you a glimpse at what my life has been like over my first month in Barcelona. Needless to say that I am enjoying my experience and although I was told to make close connections with Spaniards, I am having more fun meeting people from all over the world.
I live in the school apartments and there are a lot of international students living here. I have met some great people from different countries, even those tiny countries we never hear about in the US. I Iove the decision I made to come and live here because I have made so many friends and I have already visited many places with all the international students.
A family feel has developed here and I am grateful that the university offers such an amazing international program. Look out for my next blog post because Amsterdam pictures will be all over it!