6 Things I Learned From Studying Abroad

Last semester, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Spain. As a Spanish major here at SU, there is only a limited amount of Spanish-speaking countries I could have studied in, but my top choice has always been Spain. Ever since I was in high school I've dreamed of visiting Spain, and getting a first-hand experience at its culture. Now that I've spent six months earlier this year in Spain, I've learned a ton. I stayed in a small beach town called Alicante, with a host family that took me in with open arms. I learned so much about myself and my comfort zone. With that I would like to present you with a breakdown of 6 things I learned while in Spain. 

1. Solo traveling is adventurous

When I went to Spain, it was the first time I had ever flown alone. 13 hours was supposed to be the amount of time it would take for me to fly from the JFK airport to Alicante, Spain, but there was a change of plans. With the snow storm that had occurred the night before, my total travel time turned into 23 hours. It took me 23 hours to arrive to Spain, and it was challenging! In the end it was an experience I'll never forget.

2. The food is different...but amazing

For some odd reason, I thought I would be eating paella for dinner all the time and lots of other seafood since Spain is well known for their Mediterranean cuisine. Surprisingly, I ended up eating a lot of bread and some of the most unfamiliar dishes, but thankfully they were delicious.

3. You can never dress appropriately for the weather

I can't count the number of times I would travel to neighboring towns or different countries and somehow never dressed correctly for the weather. I remember I would check the weather app the night before, but the following morning it would be either too cold or evidently warm.

4. Money blows fast

As a study-abroad student, I was willing to try new things; whether it was the new cafe shop around the corner of my host house or buying the new jean jacket at Bershka. The money spent adds up fast, so its a good idea to have a job while abroad.

5. You can't always rely on the internet 

If I wasn't traveling somewhere new with a friend, I made sure to look up directions to wherever I was going on my phone. For the most part this worked for me, until life would happen and my phone would die or there would be no signal. So I suggest writing directions on a peace of paper to save yourself from a disaster.

6. Homesickness is so real

I didn't think that being miles away from home for half a year would affect me the way it did. I'm generally an independent person that has been away from home before for long periods of time. However, there was something about being in a completely different country that made me sad. Thankfully, I surpassed this stage early on in my abroad experience.