Adapting to New Experiences Everyday

In Spain by Eller Student

Mayra Almada, Business Management, ’16

This summer started off just the way I imagined it would: amazing and full of new experiences. I fell in love with the city of Barcelona from the moment the plane landed.  The first few days from arrival were tough because all I wanted to do was sleep. Once the jetlag ceased it was time for orientation, but nothing could prepare me for what I would encounter. When I chose to come to Barcelona for my internship, I never thought the language barrier would be a problem since I am fluent in Spanish, but what I didn’t expect was people all around me speaking in a language that I had never heard in my life, Catalan. That was a major cultural shock for me.

Getting my way around to places on the metro was a new thing for me. I am from a small town where you drive to places and there is usually not a lot of traffic. Even in Tucson one might take the bus once in a while but not a metro where it takes you around half an hour to reach the center of the city. I have learned a lot from this experience with transportation. Since I am a small town girl, I am learning how to adapt to an environment where people move and speak at a fast pace.

I believe that the cultural shock for me hasn’t been as impacting as one would think because the Mexican culture is not that different from the Spanish. I am used to people speaking as if they were mad and time frames being different from America. It feels weird to be one of the first people to arrive to the office everyday, but it’s also nice to work in a more relaxed environment. I’m still learning to better understand the Spanish spoken here, yet it is very exciting to be learning from other cultures. Barcelona is an amazing city and it is rapidly growing on me. I hope that by the next entry I can say that I feel like a local and not a tourist any more. IMG_4305