I apologize in advance for the shortness of this blog but next week will be a long one so no worries. This week I thought I would talk about some tips that I think anyone who studies abroad should follow.
First off: go with the flow. At the beginning, I told myself to do this and I pretty much did what I thought was “go with the flow” which basically translated to “don’t be difficult” in my world. However I have recently realized that a better translation would be to “just do as the Spanish do.” An example of this is the following: food. Let’s see. I run here and at my house in the United States I eat fairly healthy. Here, I eat… differently. Not less healthily, maybe a little bit, but more of less foods that I usually wouldn’t consider “good” for running. The night before a race we all ate ice cream and fried calamari and at first I was a little skeptical. I then thought to myself “no no no” and realized that that moment would be the perfect time to just go with the flow. That night I enjoyed my ice cream and calamari very much.
The next thing is: be open. One thing that most people, or at least I thought, is that being a foreigner, many people would find me interesting and talk to me a bunch. I have a very outgoing personality so luckily I did not fall completely into the trap that I would not have to actually try to make friends. I know a good amount of people who assume that everyone will want to talk to them because they are “different”. This is not exactly the case. To make friends and meet people you need to be open, social, and kind (like in every country.) If you are kind of shy my advice would be “let it go”. You opted to study abroad so you clearly have the courage to let loose and talk a little bit. That will make things a whole lot easier.
My last major tip corresponds to the previous. Practice the language! Many foreigners think that they have a bad accent or they are nervous to speak in another language because they don’t know it very well. Well, the sad news is that if you don’t practice you are not going to learn the new language either. Speak often and speak proud is my advice. It would be pretty hard for your speaking skills to diminish by practicing so there is nothing to lose.
Alright well those are a few pieces of advice from me. Christmas is this coming week and we just received our grades on Friday and I passed all of my classes! History of Art almost kept me back, but thankfully I pulled through. Well I will keep everyone up to date on my whereabouts and plans for Christmas in the upcoming week. Happy Holidays! Hasta Luego!