8 Cultural Adjustments I Wasn’t Expecting So Quickly

​Yesterday my host mom sat my roommate and I down and asked us if we realized we had been here for 2 weeks or not and then wanted to know what we thought about coming to Spain. A few pieces of our conversation and thoughts afterward…. 8 Cultural Adjustments I Wasn’t Expecting So Quickly.

  1. My brain functions most of the day in Spanish, and when I have to switch to English quickly, I can’t seem to find words in either language. I am also finding that my English sentences sound awkward sometimes as I try to form them the same way I form Spanish sentences in my brain. Weird.
  2. Walking everywhere… not totally certain if that is considered a cultural adjustment. Monsma, one of my sociology professors, would classify it as what people “patterned have” or in this case, don’t have—cars. I love the walk to school every morning and walking around the city. I have ridden in one car since I arrived here 2 weeks ago and that’s it.
  3. Day time routines: my body clock has been a mess since I got here, but I finally feel like I have energy today. Woo hoo! And I haven’t even had any caffeine J. Because I get siesta time, I often stay up later here than I would in the states. Also, meal times are way different since we eat lunch at 2 in the afternoon and supper at 9 at night (and FYI: my family eats at 9 and that’s considered EARLY).
  4. Bluntness… beating around the bush, sugar coating, or any other form of those phrases DO NOT exist here. My host mom and the few Spanish friends I’ve made in 2 weeks are NOT afraid to tell me exactly how it is.
  5. Weather: IT’S HOT HERE. For that reason, windows are always open so we have air circulating through the house (AC is not a thing they use a lot here). It might be a good idea to close your windows if there is a big rain storm coming or you might spend a decent amount of time pushing water out the front door of your house. If that seems oddly specific, there might be a reason.
  6. Comfort with the human body… that sort of speaks for itself. We got really up close and personal with this idea after a visit to the beach in Cadiz last weekend where women walk around without their swim tops on and that’s a normal thing.
  7. Language barrier… most of the people I have met understand English really well and they can read and it write it beautifully. The pronunciation is what gets them. It’s super helpful though that as we look for words, they can help us out.
  8. Diversity. We talked about this a lot yesterday… the amount of diversity that exists here is completely different from the diversity in Le Mars or Orange City. It’s super fun to live in a place that is home to humans from so many different backgrounds.


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