As my first month in Granada draws to a close, I am so grateful for all of the amazing places I’ve visited and excited for what’s to come. Yesterday, I visited the Alhambra for the first time and can now safely say that photos do not do it justice. I have never seen such a beautiful collection of incredible palaces, historic ruins, and picture-perfect gardens.
Over the last month, I have run into the typical obstacles expected of studying abroad. I still get hungry in the afternoon and then quickly remember dinner is not until 9:30. I’ve had days where I can hold a conversation with a native speaker without missing a beat. I’ve also experienced times where I can’t recall a word in Spanish or in English.
I am so glad I chose to live with a host family, instead of in a dorm or apartment. In my host home, I get to see the day to day experiences of a typical Spanish citizen. Additionally, I get to constantly practice speaking Spanish. After only a month, my host mom says my Spanish has drastically improved. Initially, it was definitely very strange to be living with a family that was not my own. However, as the weeks pass by, I find myself participating more in conversations and joining the fun whenever a soccer game is on. As a huge soccer fan, I was lucky to see Granada, the clear underdog, defeat Barcelona. The four of us in the living room could have been mistaken for an entire stadium as we yelled at the TV whenever something exciting happened.
So far, I have had no doubts about my decision to take a gap year. I can’t imagine another time in my life when I could study and intern abroad for an entire year and I’m glad I took advantage of the opportunity.