I don’t think I’ve ever been at such a loss for words when approaching a blog post. “Why the difficulty?” you may ask. Well, you see, it’s not because I can’t think of anything to say. Indeed, my happy conundrum is this: I’m in Spain, and I’m having so many incredible experiences and am learning so many amazing things that I don’t even know where to begin!
I suppose, however, that the response of bemused procrastination in which I’ve indulged during the ten days since my arrival in the colorful, beautiful country of España isn’t going to help me feel less overwhelmed about sharing all that I’m seeing and learning. Thus, I begin…
Although I was excited about the prospect of being “immersed” in Spanish, I simply could not have imagined, before I arrived, what it would really be like to be live in another country. Furthermore, as wonderful a job as my program directors did of orienting me during my first few days in Alicante, I was nevertheless a bit overwhelmed upon first arriving. Learning how to navigate a big city (quite a feat for someone who regularly gets lost in the environs of Due West), how to communicate in another language, and getting to know the family with whom I’m living, in addition to simply dealing with that phenomenon so lovingly called “culture shock”…all of this has been both exciting and challenging!
Now, however, only a week and two days after moving in with my wonderful “madre española”, Spain is beginning to feel like home. Each day, I spend four hours in Spanish classes with a fascinating group of classmates from all over the world and under the teaching of fabulous professors at the Universidad de Alicante. During my daily bus ride to class, I’m able to have riveting conversations with people from Spain, Russia, Japan, and numerous other countries in our common language, Spanish (what fun to work on my language skills while making new friends from myriad different countries!).
Later in the afternoon, I return to my house to eat a delicious comida (the huge midday meal here in Spain) prepared by Puri, my lovely host mother. Typically, I then do homework and spend time on the beach—activities which are interspersed with travel and various cultural experiences. Hm…methinks this is a life I could get used to. Of course, I’m not considering transferring—I love Erskine too much! I am, however, thankful to be having this unique, horizon-broadening experience as part of my Erskine education. ¡Qué increíble!