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on June 11, 2018 on 6/11/18 from ,

Getting to know Spain

Arrival and challenges 

¡Hola! After a long 7 hour flight and a 5 hour bus ride from Madrid, I have finally arrived to Granada! This week has definitely been one of the most challenging times of my life. Although, I was very excited to study abroad I was also scared and anxious. The idea of flying alone for the first time made me feel nervous and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Leaving my family and staying with a host family made me uncertain since I’ve never experienced living with anyone other than my family. Amongst, all the fear I felt I was also excited to finally step out of my comfort zone and visit a new country for the first time. Once I arrived to Spain I couldn’t believe I was actually there, it was a dream come true.  While touring the city of Madrid I was in awe of how beautiful the architecture was, little did I know it would only get better in Granada! One of the things I struggled with the most was not being able to communicate with anyone especially back at home because of the 6 hour difference in time zones. Unfortunately, I have limited wifi service which means I have rare access to social media, therefore I’m pretty much disconnected from the rest of the world. Being disconnected from technology has allowed me to get lost around the city, use paper maps and ask people for directions in Spanish which has allowed me to practice the language. It has also brought me a sense of peace and has given me much more time to live and enjoy the present moment!

Spanish culture

There are many things that make Spanish culture different and unique compared to the United States. In Granada, the atmosphere is much more calmer and the people casually stroll down the streets without much of a rush. You see young and old couples hold hands as they make their way to dinner for tapas (free food included with your drink). Lunch is the biggest meal while dinner is a bit smaller usually eaten much later around 10pm. The Spanish diet is mainly composed of Mediterranean food which includes a lot of bread, olive oil, ham, cheese etc. Water is scarce due to droughts throughout the year therefore showers must be short. Also, in Granada walking to places is very common, most people travel short distances since everything is near by. Granada holds a rich history and it is seen through it’s architecture, food, and music. I was able to tour the Royal Chapel and Cathedral where Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand, the Catholic Monarchs lay to rest. The Royal Chapel was built in 1505 and it’s architecture is influenced by the Gothic style, the Cathedral represents impressive artwork and is big part of Granada’s history.

 

The altar of the Cathedral located beside the Royal Chapel in Granada, Spain.

A typical day of class

On a usual day I wake up at 7am to have breakfast and leave around 8am to make it on time for my Spanish literature class which starts at 8:30am. I walk to class for about 20 minutes and I enjoy every minute of it because I get to breathe in fresh air and I feel inspired by the lovely city of Granada. I love both of my culture classes and my professors make it super interesting and fun! Normally, I’m done by 11am and I go home to eat lunch with my host mom before I have to go back at 4pm for my Spanish speaking class. At around 6pm I am free to continue to explore and I am truly grateful I get to be in this magical city!

 

Viewing the city from the top of the tower at the Science Museum of Granada.