It seems like just yesterday that I was arriving in Spain, and looking at the calendar today I realized it’s already been an entire month! So far it has been one crazy, fun, challenging adventure that I am so happy I choose to partake in. This past week I had my first week of class, yes the end of September, I love it! Iam taking 2 classes solely on the Spanish language, and my other two are Spanish cinema and Camino de Santiago, which are also in Spanish but about history, art and culture. It really is a different experience getting to have new professors, students and classes, but what I enjoy the most is how the Spanish culture effects the way the classroom is run as well. Most of the time our classes don’t really begin on time, okay make that never, and our professors are more about lecturing than discussion based classes. However since I am taking classes through my study abroad program, they have adapted some aspects to a more ‘American’ styled learningenvironment with more discussion, which is also to help our Spanish as well. I have my language class for two hours every day, Monday through Thursday, and my elective classes on Monday and Wednesday. Which gives me a great schedule considering my weekend starts at 11am on Thursday!
Although I came here to ‘study’ abroad—which consists of classes, books and professors—I have found that most of my studying comes from outside of the classroom. All of the places that I visit during my day, interacting with my host family and the Spanish locals, and meeting new friends have helped me learn more so far than theactual classes (although they certainly do help). No book is going to tell you how to communicate in a foreign language to the man driving your bus that you are lost and need to get home (yes this did happen to me!) or how to make jokes and be sarcastic in a new culture. All of this comes from the experience. And one of the things I have learned from being here for a month is that the best way to get by when you have no idea what is going on—smile. Fortunately at Witt this is something that I know every student knows how to do very well, so I have not had any problem with trying my best just to be friendly and smile when something is happening that I don’t understand. It really is an international symbol of understanding, and I’m so glad that I learned this quickly.
It’s almost comida and siesta time for me (which means lunch and nap) and afterwards the beach, so I will wrap things up for now. This weekend I am off to Florence, Italy with some friends from my program, and I cannot be more excited! Ill make sure to take pictures to post to my next entry, and of course eat some pasta and gelato.
Watersports and Enjoying the beach in Alicante