What I Learned My First Month Abroad

After a month in Barcelona I feel like a completely new and different person... just kidding. But I have learned so many things already!

1. It's ok to be scared

  • Not going to lie, I had to hold back my tears when I said goodbye to my parents at the airport. How could I not? I was going to a new country, with a new language and all new people. While this made my heart sink, stepping out of my comfort zone has been the best thing I could've done. 

2. Public transportation is your best friend (once you figure it out)

  • Figuring out the transportation system in Barcelona was very easy and essential to my adjustment time here. Google maps definitely helped and by the 3rd day I felt like the whole city was very accessible. 

3. I miss air conditioning

  • I wouldn't trade living in a homestay for anything, but it has been a big adjustment to not have air conditioning. With warm temperatures everyday, it is weird to come home and not feel that rush of cold air when I open the door. 

 

4. Cats aren't that bad

  • Ok so this one sounds weird, but before I came I HATED cats. Scoffed at anyone that even tried to tell me why they like cats. My Spanish family has two cats and while it took a while to warm up to them (one bit me in the first hour), I am kind of starting to think that they are cute. Who am I right?

 

5. Trying to speak another language is awkward, but rewarding

  • I barely know how to speak Spanish, and still feel really really dumb when I try to, but the more that I practice, the easier it starts to get. I truly believe that people appreciate it more when I try rather than walking up and automatically speaking English expecting them to know the language. One discouraging thing is when I try to talk in Spanish and they just respond in English. Then again, maybe they are just trying to help :) 

6. There is a "study" component to "study abroad" 

  • HA! I think that I kept forgetting how I would have to go to class during the week, but I am actually enjoying it. I get to see my friends everyday and I am learning a lot about Barcelona through them. A bonus is no classes on Friday. 

7. Staying up late to talk to friends from home is worth it

  • There is nothing that makes me happier than talking to my family and friends right before I go to bed. The time change is hard to get used to, but I now know that people love to call when my day is coming to an end.

 

8. SAY YES!

  • Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience- say yes to trying new things. Not sure if you will like that traditional Spanish food? You won't know unless you try!