I had never been to Europe before landing in Barcelona for study abroad. As you can imagine, I was beyond excited. Everything was new to me, the food, the people, the culture, the architecture, the geography, all new, all equally enticing. Here is a breakdown of everything that has gone down, the changes I have notices, and what I have learned so far.
- Size: Weekend trips are a thing at bama in the spring. However, it is typically to neighboring universities to visit one of your friends. Here, people travel every. single. weekend. You come to class on Monday and hear at least five conversations of people talking about where they were over the weekend. You will hear people talk about Rome, Vienna, Florence, Paris, London, Lisbon, etc. Then you will hear where they are going this coming weekend. Each of these places are about a 2 hour flight and cost 100 euros. I far prefer European weekend trips.
- Water: It is not free. It is not something you get right when you sit down at a restaurant. Nobody has water bottles. I swear the entire continent of Europe must be dehydrated.
- Language: Most everyone speaks English, or at least a little. It almost makes you feel bad that you cannot. It is such an expectation for people to understand you. It is not like that back home.
- Weather: It is COLD. It is actually freezing. For some reason I thought it was just supposed to always be warm in southern Europe. I was so beyond wrong. The wind just about knocks me over.
- Schedule: My sleep schedule and routine has never been so messed up. Lunch is at 3, Tapas at 6, and dinner restaurants do not even open until 8. People are genuinely out until the sun comes up. However, everyone is magically back at school or work in time. I am normally someone to wake up around 8 and be in bed by 11, that is certainly not the case. Naps are beyond essential.
This is just under 3 weeks of knowledge. I know I will learn so much more and I am so excited. I will have to update this post in 4 months with how these things have changed and what I have experienced in different countries.