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.  


After speaking with my language partner I learned a little about some of the stereotypes of Spaniard and Americans. Some of the Spanish stereotypes I have heard include; being lazy, being alcoholics, and being partiers. For the most part I can see where some of these things could be seen in the Spanish culture however I don’t really think that these are fair assumptions. They consider themselves lazy because students never really work and everything closes for siesta time in the middle of the day. I consider this to be smart. Students should be focusing on their studies and siestas refresh you for the rest of the day. There is also nothing wrong with having a drink or two with your meal. It is good for you and sometimes makes the food taste better. As for being partiers, I think they just know how to have a good time. I guess the fact that clubs are really crowded on weekdays makes me think that maybe they are a little party crazy. I know for myself, I would not be able to do that on a regular basis.
Some of the stereotypes they said about Americans is that we are all really rich and are always able to buy whatever we want. I guess they might get that idea from tv and the way we live. A lot of us do live in houses and our parents have decent jobs but I know I am not rich in the least so that is definitely not true in my eyes.  

I think stereotypes can be a little dangerous. I know my mom was nervous to send me here for school because of some of the stereotypes that she heard, especially the partying part. After being here for about 2 weeks I can see the great parts of this culture and see that the people here are amazing.