What it’s like to be a student in Spain (my observations so far):
- School supplies: Today we made it back to the school supply store because it was closed when we finally found it the other day. All I really wanted was a notebook, some pens, a pencil, and a few folders to organize. Surprisingly it was really difficult to find a lined notebook! Most of the notebooks here either have graph paper or no lines, and few have more than a few subjects (at least at the stores we looked at). We also couldn’t find packages of pens like we have in the states. Instead there were just rows of individual pens, highlighters, and pencils of different colors (and I’m now realizing I should’ve taken a picture. Oops). I ended up finding a small notebook with lines and different sections marked off by colors. Also, we realized very quickly that the standard paper size used here is different than in the U.S., so for people who brought supplies from home, it may not fit or match up exactly. I didn’t think that school supplies would be different somewhere else, so it’s all just very interesting!
- The library: My favorite part of being a student in Spain so far is the space we get to study in. The public library we went to today is housed in an old, historic building with two stories, a large open-ceiling atrium in the middle that reminded me of the roman houses I learned about in middle school, and rooms surrounding the edges. We studied in a room with two long wooden tables filled with students and floor to ceiling windows surrounded by ivy (pictured above). It’s quiet and respectful, bright and airy, and a beautiful, historic atmosphere to work in.
- The work: So far, nothing has been too difficult, though it is definitely challenging. The hardest thing I’m having to do right now is learn how to discuss art with a pretty small Spanish vocabulary, and I need to study my notes from my culture class more because there’s a lot to take in. The work load is definitely not overly heavy for these intensive classes though; it’s really up to me how much effort I want to put into it. I do want to learn though so today I made 95 flashcards of things from class so I can go over them before bed or whenever I get a chance. Then I worked on a budget for the rest of this trip so I know how much to spend each week and how much I can put toward trips to other places! So far, I’ve planned trips for Prague, Germany, maybe Vienna, and Stockholm. I’m exhausted, but it feels awesome to be so productive and make the most of this! I’m thinking early bedtime tonight and an awesome day tomorrow.