Here are some interesting customs and everyday things that I have observed the past couple of weeks.
1.Alcohol is totally different here: In the US there is this stigma around alcohol, it's unattainable until you're 21, and then it's something that people turn to in order to fix something. However in Spain children are taught to have a different attitude towards alcohol, and they definitely think about it more casually then we do in the US.
1. University is different: In the United States many universities make sure to have the "total package", but in Bilbao there are two universities, and most young adults live at home until they find a job. Also, university is basically just a place of learning. Sure there are extra-curriculars but they aren't anything major like at universities in the US. Think of going to a top school, but living at home and not being involved in extra-curriculars.
3. Tomatoes and Seafood: That is basically my diet here, and I love it. I know for a lot of people it's not very ideal, but I love it. My host mom is a great cook, but I'm secretly craving my mom's breakfast food and baked goods as well as my dad's tacos and homemade pizza.
4.Life at home doesn't stop: My friends and family at home are still there, and I still need them in my life. They also don't stop needing you. Trust me, you are not forgotten at home, and you can't run away from things either. Make sure to tell your loved ones about your feelings, and make time to hear about what's happening in their lives!
5.Friends make everything better: This past week I connected with a group of great people, and have had the option to hang out with someone everyday. It's great, and we have definitely started to make memories I know I'll have when I'm 70.
6. Attitude is everything:I've had one really bad episode of homesickness, but that was the only time I allowed myself to feel bad. There are definitely times where I have to remind myself the be positive, but there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thankful I'm here.
7. I love Europe, I love Spain, I love Bilbao: Even though I'll definitely be ready to leave Bilbao in December, I'm falling in love with Bilbao and it's culture, along with Spain and its cultures, and the history of Europe in general. I'm already day dreaming of the next time I'll come back with my hypothetical family in 15 years.
Wearing my letters to the beach.
After an afternoon at the beach, I got to watch a beautiful sunset in Plentzia, Spain
More photos of the sunset over the river
Friends at the Bilbao v Barcelona game. Watching it in a bar was so much fun!
Silliness one night
This beautiful fountain in the main park in the middle of Bilbao. I walked there after class one day.
What are your study abroad experiences like? I'm looking forward to Madrid and Toledo this weekend!