Acclimating to my new home in Barcelona, Spain has been an experience like I never imagined. I, as well as another study abroad student, live in an apartment with a widow named Montse. She is so sweet and has helped me acclimate to a new way of living. At first, the things that were most different to me were the showers and washing clothes. I do not take long showers because conservation of water is very important here. Also, the showers do not have an overhead faucet, but instead they have a hand held shower hose. I found it very difficult to shower using only one hand, but I am now accustomed to it. In addition, washing clothes is very different because most people in Spain do not use dryers. Energy conservation is very important here as well. Therefore, we hang our clothes on a clothesline to dry outside. My clothes have a different feel now, but I’m so glad Spain is playing a big role in energy conservation. I also like the fact that I do not have to wash my own clothes here because Montse washes my clothes every day!
Learning a new language is a continuous and daily effort. I have taken many steps to make sure that I make the most of my time here in Spain. Besides going to Spanish class 4 times a week, I also use my time outside of school interacting with the locals. Whenever I go out to eat, go shopping, or am just on the bus, I try to speak Spanish as much as possible. Although I cannot understand every single word, I definitely am able to pick out certain words and pay attention to inflection to understand the main idea of what is being discussed. I still watch Netflix here, but I watch it in Spanish! This way I am always listening to Spanish and learning new words and phrases. I have learned so much Spanish already and even some Catalan words. I plan to continue learning Spanish as much as I can during my last month here.
It has been such an amazing experience to study and travel abroad. Not only have I been able to live in Spain, but I’ve also been given the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Morocco. This extensive travel has added to my global experience and has allowed me to become more knowledgeable of different cultures and their ways of daily living. The experiences that I have encountered for the last few months opened my eyes to things that I never knew existed. I will forever be changed and view the world with new insight. I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel and see things that I only read about or saw on the internet. I have so much to share with my family and friends when I return home. Many years from now, I hope to revisit and retrace this journey that has changed my view of the world and has made me a different person.
Author: Katelyn Jackson