Monday, September 10, 2012

Transitioning to Spanish Life - Aaron Cochrane

Hey all, I’m Aaron Cochrane and I’m currently in Salamanca, Spain. I’ve been in Spain for almost three weeks now, and I feel like I’ve discovered where I belong – life here seems very relaxed and easygoing, and midday siestas are common to facilitate staying up pretty late every night. In particular, I like the part of the Spanish lifestyle that involves tapas. Tapas are small inexpensive portions of food that people just drop in to eat and chat with friends. The snacking makes “real” meals much farther apart (8am, 2:30pm and 9:30pm) but helps to meet new people and try new foods constantly. I love just wandering whatever city I happen to be in (Segovia, Madrid, Toledo and Salamanca so far) and randomly stopping for tapas at some local place whenever I get hungry.
 Transitioning to Spain was a bit difficult at first because of the time difference (9 hours) and the Spaniards’ heavy accents, but really it’s quite a bit like the US as far as everyday life goes. There’s some things I miss from home already (my car, for example) but in general studying abroad hasn’t been too harsh of a change for me. I’ve had a week of classes so far that are all in Spanish but are geared towards international students so they’re not too fast-paced, which is great because I still need quite a bit of practice before I would be able to take a “real” fast-paced university class in Spanish. The next couple weeks make up a separate, shorter term for us that is designed for integration and Spanish learning, and hopefully by the time that the actual semester starts in late September I’ll be completely up to speed.

I hope all is well in the States, or wherever you may be!!

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