The last two weeks have flown by living in this new country. Spain has proved itself to be everything I wanted it to and more. The two biggest adjustments I’ve experienced this far are with the food and the culture, as expected. Spanish food is much different than I thought, coming in to this assuming it would be similar to Mexican food. But that was a far off assumption, it seems like every Spanish food simply has either fish or ham. The one thing I have grown to love here is the seafood paella dish and the simple ham and cheese sandwiches.
As far as the culture, the people in Spain are much different than the people in the United States. They seem to care less about personal space than we do. They are also a bit louder and more free in public than Americans. Throughout the program it seems that the consensus is that the working environment is also much different. I have heard that the dress is not quite as formal and being punctual is not quite as important. However on the flip side, my work is consistent with the way things are in America; they all dress very formal, care about punctuality, and conduct their work in a very formal environment.
Another aspect that surprised me was the fact that Spanish people mostly listen to American music and wear American clothing. I have been here two weeks and have yet to hear a Spanish song, but have heard all of the popular American songs. Regardless of all of the differences, I am having the time of my life and can’t wait to see what the next few weeks have to bring.