We’re in the middle of a winter storm here in the suburbs of Philadelphia, so I’m feeling more ready than ever to escape to sunny Spain. I’ve bought my plane ticket, received my student visa, and gotten my housing assignment, so I am officially all set to head to Spain! Keyword: officially. I have my flight and my visa in order, but that’s about it. I still have to pack, and not to mention the mental preparation that I haven’t had time to do between studying for exams, writing papers, working, and figuring out the logistics of going abroad.
While I’ve been waiting to go back to Spain since I first went during high school five years ago, I’ve also been feeling nervous and unsure of what to expect once I get there. I studied abroad In London, England through Arcadia’s FYSAE during the spring semester of my first year of college, but I know that my time in Spain will be incredibly different, because almost every aspect of the program is different from the program I did in London.
This time around, my classes won’t all be taught in English at an Arcadia Center–all but the core course will be in Spanish at the University of Granada’s Centro de Lenguas Modernas. I’ll be in a much smaller city, downsizing from a population of almost 9 million to just over 234,000. And, most importantly, I’ll be staying in a homestay instead of student housing.
Even with these differences, I hope to be able to transfer some of the lessons I learned in London to make the most of my time in Spain. My time in London flew by, so I plan on embracing every second and opportunity I have to explore Spanish culture and hopefully a few new places around the world. Striking a balance between time spent in your host city and traveling during study abroad can be difficult, but is definitely worth the effort–some people finish their semester abroad wishing they had spent more time where they were studying, while others wish they had taken advantage of easy travel while they could.
Whatever this semester holds, I’m feeling more than ready to get started on my Spanish adventure!