Friday, October 01, 2010

Kaitlyn F. - Spain - Fall 2010

I'm just about at the one month mark and so far Spain has been quite the adventure.  I feel like I am always on the move doing one cool thing after the other.  I am always happy to partake in the Spaniard's daily siesta.  I've quickly made some wonderful friends in my program.  I have also made it my goal to befriend native Spaniards in order to improve my language.  Yes, the language barrier is intimidating and challenging, but it is sort of a sink or swim situation.  I am understand better than ever before and my classes are helping me speak.  IES provides a lot of organized trips and walks and tours, I'm trying to take advantage of them because they are really cool and things I probably wouldn't do on my own.  So far I've traveled outside of Madrid to Toledo, Asturias, Alicante, and a couple other places.  It's an adventure, that's for sure.  I'm trying my best to be open minded and remember that I am the guest in this country, I've been trying every type of food put in front of me and I've been stepping outside of my comfort zone.  I also want to experience Madrid like a native so I've attended a bull fight and a cooking class.  Next week is a Real Madrid soccer game and Flamenco.  I have endless options of what to do, it's now a matter of prioritizing, but so far so good.  Hope all is well in the States!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have such a great outlook and it sounds like you are taking advantage of the opportunities set before you! I hope that I will be as open minded and willing as you are when I study abroad!

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll do great. Just remember that you are in someone else's culture, you're not there to change them but to change yourself. -Kaitlyn

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your trip sounds awesome thus far! Are you living with a family or in a residential hall? DO you feel your Spanish is improving and that you are becoming fluent in the language or is it the same as you've spoken in the States?

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, your trip sounds so exciting! It must be fantastic to be able to travel all around Spain and also try to live life like a native and really sink deep into the culture. That's amazing. What has been your favorite activity or excursion thus far? I would imagine the language barrier is really intimidating at first, but are you starting to feel more comfortable with it? I hope you're enjoying your trip! -Amelia K.

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What 2 tips would you give regarding taking classes in another country? Are the class fully in Spanish, English, or a mix of both?
~Christina D

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any tips for selecting classes? I'm majoring in Spanish but I'm a little nervous about the classes. Do you suggest taking all classes in Spanish, or just a few of them?

10:01 PM  
Blogger wallflower1332 said...

Hey Kaitlyn,
As you might have guessed, I'm curious about classes as well. I'll be studying in Ecuador so the Spanish language portion of this experience will be intense. Would you suggest choosing classes based on content or language level? Have you found your professors helpful if/when you've had difficulty with language barriers?
Best of luck,
Ally Vertigan

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kaitlyn,

I'm glad to here you are having such a great time! I will be going to Mexico in the Spring and I was wondering how you went about selecting courses? Was it easy to transfer them for your major? Also, have you found it difficult to adjust to regular classes in Spanish?

Catie C.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kaitlyn!

Do you feel like you've experienced culture shock? What did you do to overcome the "lows" you experienced?
-Christina D.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you are in Spain which I'd imagine differs quite a bit from the U.S. do you feel you have experienced culture shock? If so would you care to elaborate on it a bit (are you still in the honeymoon stage or have you gotten frustrated at times and felt you were in what was described as the 'crisis stage?'
-Jen G

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Ali Konold said...

My sister studied a whole year abroad in Spain. She was in Barcelona. I went there to visit her for a week and it was amazing, though the language difference was intimidating.

I would like to know what your reaction was to the culture? Did you experience culture shock quickly? Or slowly? Have you gotten over it?

12:06 PM  

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