So. This is it.
I leave for Spain tomorrow for an entire semester. I'm nervous, excited, anxious, ecstatic, scared and optimistic; I never knew it was possible for me to feel so many emotions all at once.
I'm all packed and I will double/triple check tonight to make sure everything is there, although as long as I have my laptop, camera, passport and wallet I should be OK.
I still can't believe that this is happening, but over the past week it's slowly sunken in: 4 months in a foreign country.
Things I'm really excited about:
1. My host family: I'm living with a single woman, Rafaela, in a medium sized apartment. She's 65 years old and she owns a clothing store in a local market. According to my program "she loves to talk and loves animals," which is a winning combination in my book.
2. Catalan: Barcelona is located in Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain. In this region, they have their own language, Catalan, which is the official language along with Spanish. I will never have an opportunity to study this language in the United States, so while I'm in Barcelona I'm going to try to learn as much of it as I can!
3. Bilbao Vacation: I am actually leaving the US before my program starts so I can go over with my friend Michelle to visit her old host family in Bilbao, Spain (northern Spain in the Basque country); I'm staying there for 2 and a half weeks, while she's only staying there a week and a half. I've never been to the Basque country before, so it's going to be really cool to see another part of Spain.
3. Barcelona: From the pictures I've seen, the city is gorgeous. Enough said.
4. Traveling: So far I plan on going to London, Paris, Rome and Berlin. ISA also has excursions planned for us in Spain.
5. Soccer (henceforward referred to as fútbol) games: My apartment is a half mile from Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona FC. Barcelona has arguably one of the best fútbol teams in the world. Oh and they have David Villa.
6. Improving my Spanish: Although I have been studying Spanish for about 7 years now, I'm still not fluent. I can read, write, and understand it, but I still struggle speaking it. This is the big thing I hope to get out of this trip, to be able to come home and say "Yes, I speak Spanish fluently" (and with an accent too :p )
Things I am nervous about:
1. Epic fails while speaking Spanish: Yes, I know that I'm bound to make mistakes while trying to speak Spanish, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to get my point across. I just have this bad image of me trying to say something every which way and the native speaker still isn't able to understand me. Hopefully this will only be a problem for the first month or so...
2. Homesickness: Although I love everyone back home to death, I really hope I don't miss you guys. Don't take it personally, I just need to get out and see the world for myself. If I don't have the time to think about "oh I miss my family and friends" then it's a sure sign that I'm having a blast.
3. Not getting along with people in my program or my Host mom: Though at this point I just think I'm being paranoid.
Well, this is it then. I've been afforded a once in a lifetime opportunity and I plan of making the most of it. I can't wait to share with all of you my experiences, and I hope you guys can't wait.
Until we meet again, farewell.
Top Tips for Exploring Barcelona’s Natural World
3 weeks ago