Casa, Comida, Escuela

Hola! My time so far in Spain has been incredible. In my introductory post I expressed wanting to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and grow as a person by learning about culture to help me in both my personal and professional life. I have been able to already begin reaching these goals, even after just 10 days abroad. By taking classes conducted entirely in Spanish and by speaking with Spanish speakers around the town of Alcalá, my Spanish has already began to improve significantly. I have also noticed many aspects of the Spanish culture that are different from my own that have helped me to grow my understating of the world. A lot of this gained knowledge has come from my living situation. I am living in center city Alcalá with a host family! It is me, a roommate from Pitt, and our host mom Rosa. Rosa is one of the kindest people I have ever met, a mom, a grandma, and a wonderful cook! My host mom does not speak any English at all and only Spanish. At first, this was a challenge for me as I was not necessarily prepared to dive right into this. However, this has become the biggest blessing. Rosa has helped me to improve my Spanish to levels I didn’t think were possible to reach this quickly. She also toured me all around the city and took me to see her favorite places, teaching me all about the culture. I feel so lucky to have been able to end up with her as my host mom! My daily commute to school is a very simple seven minute walk because I live right in the center of Alcalá, which is very convenient. However, when I do need to transport, I have been taking the train which is slightly different than how I go from place to place at school in Pittsburgh, which is usually by bus. I used the train to visit Madrid and Valencia so far and the process is simple and easy to understand. It’s also great help with my Spanish. I enjoy the commutes in Spain because the weather is so beautiful (surprisingly not too hot), and the scenery never gets old. The town I live in is full of happy friendly people and I always notice this on my way too and from school. I can honestly say there is nothing about the commute that I don’t like. If I were to give advice to anyone else traveling in this location, it would be regarding eating times. This is something I really struggled with at first as their eating schedule is very different than in the United States. Spaniards eat little to no breakfast, a very very large lunch around 3, and a dinner around 10/11 at night. I would definitely recommend buying your own breakfast bars and keeping them in your room to eat before class or you will find yourself very low on energy for school like I did at first. Other than that, everything has gone great and I can’t wait to keep learning and exploring. I’m off to visit Barcelona next weekend and could not be more excited. Until my next post, Adios!