Cultural Differences (II)

Cailey Oehler
May 5, 2014

This post continues the ideas of the previous one (“Cultural Differences (I)”).


Spain is one of the less expensive places to live in Europe, which means living here for a semester isn’t as hard on the wallet as would be, for example, London. It’s surprising what’s expensive here compared to at home, from time to time: you can expect to find packs of chewing gum and cans of red bull in anti-theft packaging in the supermarket, and products such as sunscreen and toothbrushes can be pricy as well. A trip to Carrefour is always an adventure

7. “Everyone is stylish”

People say that Europeans are generally better-dressed than Americans, and this may or may not be true, but I’ve definitely noticed that my Spanish classmates often look much more put-together than I do, despite any efforts I make to match my clothing. There are also differences in what is considered appropriate attire here versus in the US: my sandal-shod feet get a lot of stares in the street every day, and leggings are definitely considered pants here.


Impossible! Well, until one decides to adopt new strategies. Libraries close at 9 pm and don’t open at all on weekends, when I’m accustomed to doing much of my schoolwork. It’s been an interesting experience finding new spaces and schedules for working. Salamanca has one Internet café that’s very popular with IES students for its tasty snacks (they even offer sushi), friendly staff, and reliable wireless access (also hard to come by in University buildings)


It’s very, very good here, and quite cheap. I don’t think I’ve seen coffee that didn’t come from an espresso machine even once this semester. Coffee here comes in small cups (none of these 32-ounce versions Americans are often seen toting about in the street), it’s very rarely available for take-away, and while sweet and creamy Frappuccinos are quite popular, iced coffee is nowhere to be found. You drink your coffee from a small porcelain mug, hot, and slowly. A 4-ounce café con leche that’s gone in under 15 minutes could cause confusion if consumed in the company of a Spanish friend or acquaintance.

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Cailey Oehler

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am a junior at Bowdoin College, where I am majoring in Spanish and minoring in Art History and Teaching. I&#39;m outgoing and inquisitive, and getting to know other people is how I make sense of this mixed-up and beautiful world. My favorite hobbies are baking bread, playing ukulele, and camping. I love exploring new places and am looking forward to getting to know Salamanca as well as the fun and challenges I&#39;ll encounter in my travels around Europe.</span></p>

2014 Spring
Home University:
Bowdoin College
Art History
Explore Blogs