Culture Shock

In Spain by Eller Student

by Amy Doherty


I never really noticed when, during the last five weeks, I became comfortable and ‘adjusted’ to Spanish culture and the Barcelona lifestyle until this weekend. We just returned home from a weekend visting the South of France and the adjustment I have made was more evident.


I only know about five words in French, and had such difficulty at small shops and restaurants trying to communicate in the most basic sense. No one in the group I was in knew French and none of the employees knew English or Spanish. I did find it humorous, however, that I found myself trying to respond to them in Spanish before I thought to try English. The experience was very humbling, however, and now I am realizing that there was some discomfort when I first got to Barca. I am excited to keep expanding my language skills – hoping to learn some more phrases in French, German, and Italian, before this trip is up. Luckily, the Spanish is more comfortable now, but the reminder of culture shock and the awkward moments in traveling is part of what makes it so great.

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