America, It’s Been a While

7 Feb

I absolutely cannot believe how much time has passed since I’ve been state-side again, nearly 6 weeks!!  I had planned on updating all of you much, much sooner, however somehow time has escaped me with all the new, busy, crazy things that have been happening.

From my last blog, you may remember me expressing some fears about returning home, primarily reverse culture shock.  Surprisingly, it seems that in hindsight it was much easier to get over than I had anticipated.  When classes first started about 3 weeks ago, I did go through a really bummed out phase—I missed Alicante so much.  It was so strange being back on campus, feeling as if no one here had even skipped a beat.  However, I still needed that transition back into my old lifestyle.  Now, I will say that Spain killed my work ethic slightly.  I mean, what’s with all this homework all of a sudden?! Oh right, I’m back at Purdue 😉  However, I’m beginning to adjust, even though there never seems to be enough time in the day for everything.

I find myself comparing things, a lot.  “Well in Spain, it’s done this way” etc.  Don’t get me wrong, there was so much I had missed from home!  It was so exciting to see my friends and family again, and words can’t even express how happy I was to finally see my boyfriend again for the first time.  I was excited to get back to campus, because I had missed Purdue.  I think initially another fear of mine was to experience the feeling of being left out or out of the loop.  Now that I’m home, I’ve realized that my friends have made me feel more than welcome, and they always fill me in on as much as possible—they really want to make sure that I know that I was missed 🙂

I still find myself looking back at my photos and blogs, and it seems so surreal, just like a dream.  I catch myself wondering how it was possible that I had spent 4 months of my life there… it truly feels like a whole nother world completely separate from this present reality, and in some ways, it is.  Nevertheless, I have an endless amount of amazing memories that I will keep with me for a lifetime, and perhaps one day, I will have a chance to revisit the beautiful Alicante!

Would YOU like to study abroad in Alicante or in Spain in general?  Here’s my advice and tips:

  • Get all of your study abroad forms done ASAP! It’s a lot of paperwork but totally worth it.
  • Get to know the people in your program beforehand, if possible
  • Speak Spanish all the time while abroad, even with American friends
  • Make Spanish friends!! Most important in my opinion
  • Do prepare yourself for culture shock—it does happen
  • Take advantage of each moment, time passes more quickly than you could imagine
  • Spend at least a semester abroad, if possible
  • If studying in Alicante, take advantage of the Mediterranean, it’s beautiful.  Also visit El Castillo de Santa Barbara, and hit up the barrio on the weekends—Goa is a personal favorite, tell them I referred you (seriously, I’m good friends with the camareros)
  • Also if studying in Alicante, Plaza de Luceros will become your biggest reference point in the city.  You will also come to love (and I mean hate) Autobus 24—it’s the one you take to and from the university every day.
  • Take lots of pictures!  But do be careful if you bring your camera to the beach—mine broke after being in Alicante for only 10 days due to the sand.
  • Have a no pasa nada attitude and just have the time of your life 🙂

If you ever have any questions, comments, or just want someone to talk to about being abroad (especially in Spain), feel free to contact me!

Hasta luego!

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