My expectations have been nothing close to what I’ve experienced so far while abroad. My flat isn’t anything like how I imagined it, CAPA is much smaller than I thought, and I never expected I would make friends that would want to go to Spain. I really thought the class size would be much bigger than what it is, but I am very happy with the size regardless. I am learning so much about Marketing, which hopefully will be applicable to my Intro to Marketing course next semester. My expectations never changed because they just weren’t met. I had a specific idea of what everything would be like in my mind, but unfortunately nothing has measured up to what I had pictured. I am still very happy with the city, the classes, and my internship, but I wish my expectations were slightly more accurate. I was so excited to go back to Spain because that was my first European country and my first international trip (other than Canada but that never really counts unless you go deep into Canada). Barcelona was so beautiful, and I was able to practice my Spanish speaking skills. Seeing the culture, and having the sense of being back in the country I loved so much helped me realize my love for Spanish, and this is why I am now pursuing a Spanish minor.
Other than that, I have become much more comfortable after being here for 2 months. I know where I can get my groceries in multiple locations, I’ve explored different areas by myself, and after going to different countries, coming back to London definitely feels more like home. Going on the tube to my internship made me feel like I fit into the local culture because I wasn’t just a tourist going to look at tourist attractions. I was actually on the commute to work and I looked as tired and unconscious as everyone else. I really just think that doing things by myself got me to the point of being more comfortable here because being by myself really puts me out of my comfort zone, which in turns forces me to be more okay with the situation. I’ve definitely had multiple moments of realization that I’m in London, mostly because it’s very easy to go about daily life and feel like you’re just at a college university. Sometimes I have to remind myself or other times I’ll see some London tourist attraction that sets me back into reality. It’s a very exciting city to live in, so I feel proud to not just be a tourist! The only culture shock that has been significant for me is the food. I’ve never seen so much diverse food, but I’ve also never seen so many brands and foods that I normally don’t see in America! I long for the foods I eat at home, and the normal restaurants that I would go to every week. I am so grateful to be given this opportunity, along with the international internship. I could be doing so many other things during the week, but the internship is rightfully using my time to help teach me marketing/event planning. I am also working diligently on my time management because I can never get that fixed.