Arriving in Barcelona, I was fairly confident with everything. I wasn’t very nervous for my beginning my internship and I wasn’t too jet lagged from the extensive traveling. Everything ran pretty smoothly and has been fairly easy to navigate so far. The language barrier has been slightly difficult, but I’m learning more and my spanish is getting sharper and sharper. The most strikingly different thing here is the punctuality of everything. And by punctuality, I mean the lack of punctuality. People move slowly, eat slowly, and drink even slower. I enjoy the aspect of enjoying your food and your coffeee, its just slightly different from what I’m used to.
So far my favorite part about the culture, is how communal everything is. At the end of the day, everyone relaxes outside their homes with their neighbors out on the street. Also the coffee culture, here is much different. Less excessive compared to America, yet more indulgent. A cup of coffee is sat and enjoyed, not chugged while you walk. Its a nice change.
My internship is challenging because of the language barrier, but other than that my co-workers are extremely welcoming and easy to work with.
I have an excursion towards the end of July to Valencia, but throughout the week we go here and there. See the sites. As of now, we doing all the touristy things, but were excited to go off the beaten path and really explore the rest of Europe. Right now, I’m with two other guys from Bama and another guy from University of Massachusetts. We’ve got a good group.
The locals are pretty nice and helpful for the most part. David, Angel, and Eduard are the guys I work for/with and they’re about my age. They’re Catalan so they’re as local as they come. Its nice having insight into different cultural aspects.
The native language spoken here is Catalan, but everyone speaks Spanish as well. About 50% of people speak some form of broken English, which helps, but after I take language classes in about a week I think I’ll feel a little more comfortable with the language. The guys at work have taught me a lot of funny phrases that are said around Barcelona. People here say, “Vale” alot, which means “OK”.
Describing my five senses my study abroad experience is: beautiful, delicious, hot, funny, and new. Alot of new.
I still have a good amount of time here, so I’m not thinking too much about my return visit, but I do try and keep in mind how precious my time here is. So far, I haven’t collected too many items to bring back home, but the trip is long so I will have plenty of time to stock up some stuff. I am starting to feel a little more settled in, now that its been a week, so I can’t imagine how I’ll feel come the end of the trip.