Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Elizabeth S - Murcia, Spain - Fall 2014

Hello CPP 250!

I am studying abroad in Murcia, Spain through ISEP.  I have been here for about a month and a half and am finally settling into "regular life".  I had typical problems getting here and want to advise you all that the calmer you are in response to changes, the easier everything will be ( No pasa nada or don't worry is a very common phrase here!)  I ended up arriving about 24 hours later than anticipated and, though frustrating, it was not the end of the world.  Since arriving I have completed an intensive language course with other international students, visited several beaches, visited Granada, and even went to a bull fight! I've experienced so much culture in my short stay here already and I cannot wait to see what comes next! Studying abroad is not all traveling and experiencing culture, though, my classes have begun and adjusting to that has been difficult.  I have become thankful for the "easy" registration process at Elmhurst.  All in all I am loving Murcia and am so glad I made the decision to study abroad.  Best of luck in your preparation!


10 Comments:

Anonymous Deanna J said...

One thing you mentioned that I hadn't considered was how long it would take to settle in once I go abroad. It's sad to think that once I finally get used to how things will be I'll only have a brief window to enjoy it!

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I definitely agree that it takes a while to settle in, but settling in doesn't mean that things aren't enjoyable. You can definitely still have a great time while being confused about your surroundings, and there are a lot of people in the same boat, so that helps too!

6:10 AM  
Blogger Marie Sidlowski said...

Elizabeth,

Hello, I am glad you are already feeling settled in Murcia, how relaxing! I was wondering what your work-load was like (homework)? and do you like all of the classes you have registered for?

Thanks!
Marie

3:51 PM  
Blogger Allen Riquelme said...

Hi Elizabeth!

Hope you're doing well! I'm glad you're having a fun time on your trip! As for some tips that I have to ask, would you recommend taking English-taught courses with Spaniards or other international students? Also, how many classes would you recommend taking? Were you able to balance everything and not feel too overwhelmed? I'm the type of person who always gets involved with a lot of activities with school, so I'm hoping I won't put myself over the edge. How do you balance your schedule? Thank you very much!

-Allen

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Marie,
The workload is definitely different from Elmhurst. I have 4 classes here and for the most part, my grade is going to be dependent upon a large final exam in January or an essay that I have the whole semester to work on. I'm having to adjust to longterm deadlines as opposed to short term deadlines, but setting up little mini deadlines for myself has helped.

I am enjoying my classes, but would encourage you to be very careful choosing courses because I have encountered a few surprises that had I done more research would be less of a problem. Overall, school is school and if you are a good student at home you will likely succeed abroad too :)

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Allen,
I am taking Spanish courses (language and literature) with a mixture of Spanish students and other international students. My university only offers English courses in the education and business department. I have a few friends taking business courses in English here and they seem to be liking them just fine. If you have to choose between taking classes with only international students or only Spanish students, I would encourage you to take the leap of faith and go for the Spanish classroom. It's a little more difficult, but I feel like it's a more "real" experience.

I am taking 4 courses, a lot of people take 5, but because my courses are all in Spanish I thought I would give myself a little leeway as not to completely overwhelm myself. I do feel that I've balanced everything at this point, but at times it is a bit overwhelming. But that is true at any university. If you are used to staying active and doing well in school at home that will come with you abroad :)

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Kinga Glowik said...

Hi Elizabeth,

I will be studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain in the Spring! I was wondering how you chose the classes you are taking? Was it difficult to register for the classes? Thanks!

-Kinga

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Hi Kinga!
Choosing classes was a bit of a struggle. Through ISEP, I had to put together a list of possible options during the application process. This list helped me choose classes, but I ended up changing a lot of them when it came time to choose actual classes (due to scheduling, difficulty level, etc.). I chose my classes based on what I thought I could manage and what I needed to finish my Spanish major. Registration here was a lot more difficult than at Elmhurst, but everyone is going through the same thing and you will likely have an advisor and the international office in your Spanish university to help you. Just make sure you know what you need and keep a positive attitude and registration won't be such a hassle :)

11:28 AM  
Blogger John Overton said...

Have you experienced any culture shock? If so how did you respond?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Jessica Fung said...

How are you classes going? Are you feeling challenged?

12:43 PM  

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