I have now been in Spain for 3 months, and it was a challenging change at times. During the Alabama study abroad seminar, they discussed the different phases of emotions we would go through abroad and they were exactly right. There were times of missing friends and family, missing little things about America, and being overwhelmed by a totally different culture and language. Being 6 or 7 hours ahead of all of my friends and family was pretty difficult for awhile, because I felt isolated and very distant from everything that happens with them. Some things that helped me was making friends here and getting into a routine. I treated it like I was in Alabama and I settled into a daily/weekly schedule and that helped me become more comfortable with living here. I facetimed my friends and family back in America every once in awhile, but for the most part I tried to really live in Spain. I don’t know very much Spanish which made it a little difficult to go out in the city, but I began to learn the easiest ways of communicating where I wouldn’t end up in full blown conversations. I believe that it is always more polite to at least try and speak in their native language, so I would do my best with Spanish and I would have sentences already prepared in my head. I used this same philosophy when I would travel on the weekends with my friends to other countries. Even the simplest phrases such as “thank you”, “please”, and “excuse me” I would learn out of courtesy. In a lot of places they will speak enough English to communicate, but I still believe the small gestures are nice. I am pretty well acclimated to Europe and Spain now and I am looking forward to finishing the semester and travelling some more.

Toledo, Spain