We’ve officially survived our first week in Spain! We spent two days in Madrid, and then Spent one day and night in Toledo, giving us a little bit of time to get to know each other, and our host country, before moving into our separate accommodations in Granada. A little more than half of our group is staying in homestays, while the others are in an apartment building, but we’re all in the same downtown area with easy access to the Arcadia Center and Centro de Lenguas Modernas, where we’ll be taking classes.
While we were in Madrid, it was easy to feel like we were just on a vacation, that we would never have to actually speak Spanish to natives or go to class — we even found a bar that was playing the NFL playoff games our second day there. However, now that we’ve taken our placement exam and are finalizing our class schedules, everything is becoming more real.
We’ll finish with orientation on Tuesday, and start classes Thursday. While we’ve had a lot of sessions and tours to help get us oriented in our new home, it will take some time to really get to know Granada, and get accustomed, to living with families, a completely new eating schedule, and, of course, getting by with Spanish. While the jet lag is just starting to wear off, I know there will be moments throughout the whole semester in which the culture that we come from is juxtaposed against the one in which we’re living. It can be easy to feel lost during the first few weeks abroad, but I’m already excited to see the direction that this semester goes in. Every day that passes I feel more confident in my decision to be here, and just a little less disoriented.