Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Global Citizen

            When coming home I thought I was going to experience some sort of shock or something like that but really everything just felt normal. I loved every second I was in Spain and once I was home it felt like I had been away from home for like a day. I took me a few days to adjust to the time difference but other than that coming home was not a difficult transition.
            I think being a global citizen is being someone who can see the world as different as it is. I love traveling and I love doing things that I never would have thought I was going to be able to do and seeing things that I have read about. I do not necessarily believe that a global citizen needs to have traveled all over the world and has seen everything, just someone who knows that there are other places in the world where they believe in something different and do things in a different way.
            I definitely think that I have learned a little more about the way other people live. I have been abroad before but never where I lived with someone from that country. I really think that the homestay allowed all of us to see the subtle differences and big differences between our home and theirs. Without the home-stay I definitely don’t think we would have all appreciated the country and its culture as much. I grew to really love my family and I really do miss them a lot. They were all so nice to us and made sure we had everything we needed all of the time. Their home was our home.

            I do miss Spain a lot but coming back to my reality was needed. Now I have to pictures, the memories and the friends to look back on and reminisce about all of the great times we had together.   

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I love it here. I love the people and the culture, and just about everything about their lifestyle. One thing I would want to take back to the United States is siestas. I love being able to take naps and feeling refreshed for the rest of my day. However, I do not see it as a realistic change in my life. As much as I loved taking a nap almost everyday, it was also paired with everything being pushed back later. We would eat dinner later, go out later, come home later and we were able to sleep later in the day. That just does not seem to fit with how Americans live their lives. We like to work and make the entire day productive. Naps just are not something a lot of people have time for.
            I have definitely missed my Sunday family BBQs. I am not sure if that is considered a “lifestyle” example but in my family it is very important. All 5 of us “kids” have our own lives and things we have to do during the week and my parents also work, but not on Sundays. On Sundays there is no excuse as to why you cannot make it to dinner. All summer we BBQ and all winter my mom cooks up something. It is our little tradition that I have missed.
            I guess one thing in Spain that I am not a fan of is the clothing, especially when it is hot. In the Untied States, in the summer, the less clothes you wear the more you fit in but in Spain the locals feel very comfortable wearing long pants in 85 degree weather, with no air conditioning. I decided to just embrace the fact that I was going to stand out and wore shorts. I could not do long pants in that heat.               

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Funny Story

           The other day something pretty funny happened to me. I was trying to find my way to a certain street. I did not have a map so I wasn’t sure if I had passed the street or not yet. I decided it would probably be a good idea if I asked someone for help. I went into a little cafe to see if anyone in there could help me.
I was trying really hard to explain to a man sitting alone at a table in Spanish where I needed to go. It was a bit of a struggle understanding each other. I obviously do not know a ton of Spanish and my accent is horrible and for some strange reason his was not too great either. I couldn’t really make out a lot of what he was saying. I thought maybe he was just from a different part of Spain and his accent was different. I didn’t want to be rude and just walk away because he was clearly willing to help me so we wound up struggling to speak and understand each other for about 10 minutes. 
Eventually I think he understood I was getting frustrated and had no idea where I was or where I was going. I think he felt bad for me so he finally said something that confused me more than anything because I understood so clearly every word he said. With a very thick British accent he said, “I am so sorry. I have been living here for a few weeks now and I am really trying to practice my Spanish any time I can and you seemed like you were doing the same”. At that point all I could do was laugh. Eventually he helped me figure out where I was going.  
It was just really interesting to see that we are not the only ones here who are trying to embrace the culture and learn the language.  


             Throughout our stay here in Spain I have really noticed the clothing that people are wearing. Around the house my host mother always dresses very comfortably however when she leaves the house she always gets dressed up. Sometimes I feel like they have a different standard here when it comes to clothing. Whenever I don’t dress up I feel like I stick out and everyone knows I am an American.
            Something I found interesting and kind of funny is how punctuality is not really a thing here. Being late is okay. In America that is definitely not the case. Here they consider being a few minutes late normal, even for school. In the United States if you are even a minute late for class you could get in trouble.
            I also find it interesting how much the people here value leisure time. Almost everything closes at around 3pm for a few hours so that the workers can have a break and take a siesta. They also all get the entire month of August off for vacation. In America you are lucky if hey give you more than an hour for lunch and 2 weeks of vacation time.
            Another value I have noticed is with their food. I think they take food very seriously. I all the food I have had have been so good. All of the fruit is always so fresh and clean and it always tastes amazing. I also think that the only reason they drink is to compliment their food. Not the other way around.  
            The people here also just value their culture in general. Being here for Corpus Christi has really showed me how much the people of Granada just love where they live. The streets were lined with people and the fair was packed every night. It was really amazing to see and be a part of.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014


I learned a few interesting facts about the education of university students in Spain compared the United States from my language partner. I found it most interesting that they all, for the most part, still live with their parents. I cannot even imagine still living at home all year.
            I also learned that their education system is pretty different compared to what we do. For starters, it is okay to be late to class. Often the professor does not arrive until 10 to 20 minutes after the original start of classes. In America we get in trouble if we are more than a second late in some classes.
            Another difference we found was for the most part in Spain your grade consists of just the final and if you do not do well on it you might get another chance to do it again. Grading is set on a 1 to 10 scale and if you get at least a 5 you pass.
            They also mentioned that it is not very common to take any classes outside of your major. And if they do it is optional for the most part. My language partner told me her major was English so she takes 3 classes for just English and then another for fun. They are currently in exams, which are done over the course of a month instead of a week in America. That is definitely something I would like. I hate that we have to do all of our exams one after another and no time to prepare.

            I did enjoy hearing about a new perspective of how school could be done however I do like the liberal arts idea and being able to take more classes outside my major. I also would not want my entire grade to be based on one test.